PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The federal government is looking to seize a home and property in Lebanon after discovering the owners were growing almost $10 million worth of marijuana there illegally.
According to a court document filed by a member of the Drug Enforcement Administration Tuesday, Jan. 25, a Linn County Sheriff’s Office deputy was sent to a residence on Aspen Lane in Lebanon in November 2020 to investigate a suspicion that marijuana was being grown illegally there.
The home belongs to Ying Xiu Ye and Cai Fen Pan, a married couple. When the deputy arrived on the property, he met Ying who allowed him to come inside and led him to the basement of her home where he saw several rooms filled with marijuana plants, according to the court filing. Ying allegedly told the deputy she “grew marijuana for her and her husband to use,” and that she also said they had friends who would come by and pick it up and that they only gave it away to their friends.
Ying allegedly admitted she and her husband did not have any permits or licenses to grow marijuana from the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program or the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Law enforcement confirmed the couple did not have licenses.
After seeing the size of the grow operation inside the home, the deputy notified the Linn Interagency Narcotics Enforcement task force. The deputy read Ying her Miranda rights and investigators obtained a search warrant for the property.
In addition to the 4,000 square foot home, there was also a barn and a machine shed on the property.
The court document states inside the home itself, investigators found approximately 1,096 marijuana plants, with an additional 2,051 plants in the machine shed and 1,266 plants in the barn. Investigators also found $7,320 in cash in Ying’s jacket that was in the master bedroom, the court document says.
Each grow location allegedly had intricate ventilation, watering, power, and optimal growing conditions designed for marijuana. A lieutenant at the scene described it as “large and sophisticated.”
In total, the narcotics enforcement task force seized approximately 4,400 plants, which weighed about 1,260 pounds with a total estimated value of $9,870,709.99, according to the court filing.
According to the court document, Ying and her husband Cai had relocated to Oregon from Georgia, where they still own and operate a for-hire transportation business.
While conducting the search warrant, investigators commented on the living situation observed in the home and said it looked like the house was used as a “short stay location” and that the “home felt hardly lived in.” A detective believed Ying and Cai purchased the home for the sole purpose of growing, cultivating and harvesting marijuana for distribution.
Ying and Cai purchased the property on July 3, 2019.
The DEA says the property is now subject to forfeiture because it was used or intended to be used to facilitate the illegal production and distribution of marijuana, in violation of Title 21.
The state has also issued warrants for the arrest of Ying and Cai.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office told KOIN News it could not provide comment on the case because it is currently pending.