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Major Illegal Pot Operation Busted In San Francisco's Sunset District

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- More 3,000 pot plants and thousands of dollars in currency were seized and two people arrested in a series of raids in San Francisco's Sunset district targeting an illegal marijuana grow operation, authorities announced Tuesday.

San Francisco police said 38-year-old Stephen Pan and 41-year-old Qiong Chen have been booked in San Francisco County Jail on four counts each of illegal marijuana cultivation and conspiracy.

stephen pan qiong chen sfpd mug shots
stephen pan qiong chen sfpd mug shots

The raids by several branches of the SFPD armed with search warrants took place on the morning of Feb. 21st and several locations in the city, but primarily in the Sunset District.

The results of the raids and locations was:

  • 840 marijuana plants -- 200 block of 40th Avenue
  • 900 marijuana plants and 12 lbs. of wrapped marijuana in a suitcase -- 3400 block of Judah Street
  • 1,237 marijuana plants and $11,000 in U.S. currency -- 1900 block of 45th Avenue
  • 435 marijuana plants -- 2500 block of Ocean Avenue
  • Financial information related to the operation -- 200 block of Summit Way
  • Financial information related to the criminal conspiracy seized -- 4000 block of Alemany Boulevard

Investigators said a total of 3,412 marijuana plants were seized in addition to three vehicles used in the criminal conspiracy. The investigation unearthed numerous fire code violations as the marijuana grow houses were found to have illegal electrical infrastructures, creating a fire hazard for the surrounding community.

Meanwhile, police said, the financial information seized was indicative of an ongoing money laundering operation used to fund and expand the criminal enterprise.

While arrests have been made, this remains an active and ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD 24 hour tip line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the investigation with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

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