Raids in Tacoma, Parkland yield ‘very large’ number of marijuana plants, 3 suspects

Raids on two illegal marijuana grow operations in Pierce County on Thursday yielded so many plants the cops were still counting them hours later.

“No plant count yet, but it will be very large,” Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer said late Thursday afternoon.

Three suspects, all Chinese nationals, were arrested.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department first served a warrant at a three-story commercial building in the 3400 block of McKinley Avenue in Tacoma on Thursday morning.

Two male suspects were arrested there. Tacoma police assisted in the operation.

The second raid occurred in the afternoon at a duplex in the 100 block of 104th Street East in Parkland. The building had been turned into a single residence.

“(The) entire unit was converted to grow space, except for one kitchen and one bedroom,” Troyer said.

Another suspect was taken into custody there.

Two malnourished German shepherds were seized by animal control as the sheriff’s special investigations unit processed the scenes in hazmat suits due to the presence of mold, pesticides and fertilizers, Troyer said.

In February 2018, a Chinese national was arrested at an illegal Lakewood grow operation that contained 500 marijuana plants worth $730,000.

Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.