Authorities in Southern California say they recently busted a massive underground operation and seized millions of dollars worth of marijuana, according to CBS Los Angeles on Monday (May 23).
San Bernandino County cops reportedly dropped by a Newberry Springs property, allegedly owned by Cheng Lin, with a search warrant. Investigators found a single-story residence, several sheds, and a shipping container, the county district attorney's office noted in a report.
Inside the shipping container was a door leading to a 14,000-square-foot underground bunker containing over 6,000 marijuana plants and equipment, according to officials. Jaquelyn Rodriguez with the DA's office estimates that a grow that size may have consumed "at least 6,000 gallons of water daily." Authorities say the marijuana in the bunker is worth over $9 million on the black market.
"We have a bootleg-Amazon selling illegal or counterfeit products out of a warehouse that's buried underground," San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson says. "Who can compete against that? Jeff Bezos can't compete against that."
Lin, Wu Lin, Qiaoyan Liu, Zhonggui He, and Mingfeng He were arrested on several felony drug and environmental law charges. Lin and Liu got an additional charge of landowners conspiring to commit crime. Authorities also have warrants out for Weijian Liu, Aiqing Lin, Wenren He, Lijie Lin, Bin Li, and Huang Lin in connection to the operation.
"Individuals who want to engage in these kinds of activities know that their land is either going to be taken, or we're going to get creative to prosecute and you're not going to do it here anymore," Anderson warned.