Sound Publishing archives.

Sound Publishing archives.

Police seize gold bars, guns during Bellevue search in massive marijuana grow-op bust

Police searched 10 King County locations during investigation; 60 arrested so far.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars, jewelry, cars, guns and 72 1-ounce gold bars.

As police continue to investigate a multi-county drug bust on Nov. 29 involving a suspected illegal marijuana grow-op run by Chinese nationals, more details have emerged about what investigators found during their searches of the 10 King County locations involved.

Over 50 search warrants were conducted earlier this month in King, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties at homes that police say the suspects purchased with cash for setting up the illegal marijuana grows.

At two of the locations in Bellevue and another two in Federal Way, investigators found active marijuana grow operations, according to Steve Shumate, chief criminal deputy of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.

In Bellevue, police seized over 700 marijuana plants in the 9500 block of Lake Washington Blvd., and over 400 plants and grow equipment in the 15000 block of SE 15th St.

In Federal Way, police confiscated 718 marijuana plants and some tools in the 33000 block of 43rd Ave. SW. During this search, investigators determined another grow was occurring next door, in the 4300 block of 333rd Ave. SW, where they seized an additional 600 plants.

The remainder of the King County locations also have ties to the organized crime, Shumate added.

At three additional sites in Bellevue, police seized several documents in the 14000 block of NE 8th St.; documents, $29,900 in U.S. currency and a Toyota Sienna in the 1700 block of 144th St. SE; and four guns, jewelry, 72 1-ounce gold bars, a 2017 Toyota Tacoma and approximately $218,936 in cash in the 9400 block of Lake Washington Blvd.

Cell phones, computers, documents and over $132,00 were seized at a Medina location in the 8000 block of 80th Ave. NE.

Police also appropriated documents and over $16,500 at a Seattle site in the 6000 block of 22nd Ave. S., and more electronics, documents, an undisclosed amount of processed marijuana and $3,600 in Kent, in the 23000 block of 56th Ave. S.

All told, detectives so far have confiscated over 33,000 marijuana plants worth more than $80 million and over $400,000 worth of cash and gold. Police have also arrested approximately 60 suspects.

The Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force-led investigation was initiated when east Grays Harbor County residents reported possible illegal marijuana grow operations occurring in the Elma area. McCleary, Aberdeen and Hoquiam police also received similar complaints.

Police believe the proceeds from these suspected illegal grows may be funding other criminal enterprises; those investigations are also ongoing.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

Free masks at the Bellevue Salvation Army. Courtesy photo
Free mask pickup for Bellevue residents

New dates and times for mask distribution this week

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Construction begins for Downtown Park entrance

The previously delayed entryway project is expected to be finished early 2021

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline. Courtesy image
Drug courts, officer de-escalation programs impacted by MIDD cuts

The fund provides money for mental illness and drug dependency programs across King County.

Summer vehicle travel projected to decrease this year

Traffic this summer will likely be lighter across Washington state than previous… Continue reading

Most Read