If you think about gang activity, the first thing that comes to mind is the stereotypical image of a Southern California gangbanger, but you’d be dead wrong, at least if you look at the illegal drug trade in San Bernardino.
As it turns out, Chinese nationals operate most of, if not all of, the illegal marijuana growing operations in San Bernardino county.
The local marijuana enforcement team from the sheriff’s department stated that Mexicans and the Chinese are the two most common groups of people they run into.
85% of illegal weed farmers in America’s largest county were found to be Chinese
Sergeant Rich Debevec believes at least 85% of the men and women running these operations are non-citizens; that’s got a lot to say about our current border situation, as well as our relationship with China.
Chinese wacky tobaccy
Chinese nationals operate nearly every illegal indoor marijuana farm in California. "My best estimate is probably 98% of all indoor marijuana cultivations are run by Chinese nationals, using money wired from China to purchase homes in San Bernardino County. pic.twitter.com/rCQuM9Q78O
— James Hughes (@JamesHu29812484) March 3, 2023
Due to the vast amount of farmland in the county, San Bernardino has been grappling with illegal marijuana operations for years. Since 2020, over 2,100 search warrants have been issued, fetching over $1B in cannabis plants and processed marijuana.
This week alone, the enforcement team cracked down on an operation that was maintaining five thousand plants, which could possibly bring in around $8 million every year.
That’s $8 million of marijuana hitting California’s streets every year, from a single supplier. You can only imagine how many of these operations still exist, as well as how many of them are involved in a bit more than just cannabis farming.
New Story on how Chinese Nationals & Mexicans are buying houses, land and growing pot. The cartels and the Chinese government are involved. How long before they start lacing the Marijuana with Fentynal? This isn't Street pot. It's being sold in shops. You cant trust anything.
— CAGrampa – CAEnergyuser (@thomashastin) March 3, 2023
China may be involved with more than just marijuana
Sgt. Debevec estimates that 97% of all indoor marijuana operations are run by Chinese nationals. A 2019 operation serves as a testament to his beliefs, as it was found these individuals were purchasing properties and turning them into marijuana farms on a massive scale.
That year, three men were arrested and accused of using money from wire transfers to purchase homes in San Bernardino that they would then use to manage their marijuana-growing operations.
These operations commonly distribute the drug throughout California and Nevada and that goes for the ones that were already discovered.
Chinese and Mexican nationals operate almost all illegal marijuana growing operations in the United States' largest county,
— Cris Grey (@cmgrey10) March 2, 2023
There’s no telling how far and how convoluted the Chinese marijuana business actually is, and until we’ve completely eliminated them from the trade, we’ll never know.
There’s also suspicion that Mexican cartels are involved with these happenings, but that’s not exactly news. Everyone was already aware these drug empires are responsible for a large portion of the drug crisis in the US.
As challenging as their job may be, the enforcement teams have still managed to crack down on the majority of these operations. In the last two years, they’ve managed to bring the number of illegal operations down to only 400.
With additional law enforcement constantly on their tail, the trend has slowly taken a downward spiral. It seems that Chinese nationals are no longer keen on reopening these operations in the US.This article appeared in The Record Daily and has been published here with permission.