March 26, 2021

11 nabbed in Oregon marijuana money laundering case

Search warrants served in Linn, Benton, Marion counties by: KOIN 6 News Staff Posted: Mar…

Search warrants served in Linn, Benton, Marion counties

More than $373,000 in US money was seized during a search of locations in Linn, Benton and Marion counties in a money laundering and racketeering investigation that ended with 11 arrests, March 24, 2021 (Albany PD)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A combined regional investigation that included the Oregon State Police and the FBI landed 11 people from Oregon, Washington and California in jail, each facing multiple charges including racketeering and money laundering.

The people were arrested March 17 after search warrants were served in Linn, Benton and Marion counties, the Albany Police Department said in a press release.

Investigators were looking into the illegal manufacture of marijuana which included money laundering through various restaurants in those 3 counties. The searches turned up cocaine, more than 1900 pot plants, 40 pounds of processed pot, guns, cars and more than $373,000 in US money.

Each person faces a variety of charges. The full list of charges includes racketeering, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and aid and abet unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, and identity theft.

The 11 arrested are:

Yue “Michael” Chong Chen, 41, Yongkang Chen, 36 and Liang Huan Chen, 65, all of Salem; Enrong Zhou, 40, of Albany; Yaorun Li, 27, of Lebanon; Guiqua Chen, 33, of Renton, Washington; Pinzheng Zhao, 39, of Sweet Home; Jinhui Liu, 28, of Portland; and Jianwen Zhu, 52, Rongchu Mai, 52 and Weihong Gong, 56, all of San Francisco.

The LINE Taskforce is made up of investigators from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Albany Police Department, Lebanon Police Department, Sweet Home Police Department, Oregon State Police, Eugene office of Drug Enforcement Administration and Oregon National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.