Seven of eight detained suspects were charged Wednesday in connection with a major pot bust in San Francisco and surrounding cities.
After raids on homes in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, eight people were arrested Monday for running a major pot operation in which the buds were infested by spider mites, San Mateo County narcotics task force Cmdr. Lt. Marc Alcantara said.
Upon reviewing the cases Wednesday morning, seven of the eight were held to answer on felony counts on possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation and for maintaining a building for a grow operation, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
The seven suspects, allegedly tied to “a “close-knit” Asian drug trafficking organization, were scheduled to enter their pleas on May 26, Wagstaffe said.
Police seized 1,400 marijuana plants, 55 pounds of harvested marijuana, six guns and more than $47,000 in suspected drug profits, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Ray Lunny said. The marijuana seized has an estimated street value of more than $450,000.
The bust was the result of an undercover operation spanning nine months that infiltrated the illegal operation.
Three grow sites in Daly City were raided and another in South San Francisco , Alcantera said.
Raids were also carried out in four San Francisco neighborhoods, including Sunset and Forest Knolls.
The operation was dubbed, “Mighty Mites,” after authorities discovered an unruly amount of spiders and webs all over the plants in the grow rooms. Alcantera said there’s no doubt consumers were getting some “protein” in their weed purchases.
“While [spider mites] didn’t show toxicity or evidence they are bad for you, I certainly wouldn’t want them in my Cornflakes,” he said.
The suspects did not appear to be selling to medical marijuana collectives in the Bay Area. Investigators were tight-lipped about where the marijuana was being distributed, citing an active investigation.
San Francisco residents Steven Pham, 25, Tue Pham, 37, Marvin Pham, 27, and Brian Wong, 31, were booked on charges of marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana and criminal conspiracy. Each person is held on $1 million bail.
Four Daly City residents face similar charges and bail amounts, including Nam Nguyen, 29, Danny Nguyen, 22, and Donna Quach, 28.