Skip to comments.Months of preparation went into Operation Gang Green
Posted on 10/15/2011 6:41:41 AM PDT by Bean Counter
Vancouver, WA - Police officers are continuing to process evidence and investigate Thursdays raids in Operation Gang Green.
The bust that netted 6,800 marijuana plants and saw 49 people arrested isnt over just yet.
Well analyze evidence to look for further connections between involved parties, said Cmdr. Mike Cooke of the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force. Were going to move forward to present a solid case for prosecution.
Police dont think the bust will necessarily take marijuana off the street in Clark County.
Our indications are, this isnt being grown locally to be smoked locally, Cooke said. It will affect drug availability in this groups particular supply chain and where that supply chain ends up. Planning the sting
Officers were first made aware of what they call an organized crime ring in 2009. In late August, police started planning for the series of raids that would sweep through 56 Clark County locations on Thursday.
At first, information was locked down pretty tightly, Cooke said.
As we identified needs, and when wed have those needs, we brought people into the planning process, he said.
The 300 officers who would eventually conduct raids on Thursday were brought into the loop three weeks ago. They didnt know what they would specifically be doing until 6 a.m. Thursday after the morning briefing.
Planners had to identify houses that needed to be raided first. In some cases, several suspect homes were on the same street. To avoid tipping off residents of police activity, all the homes were hit at once, Cooke said.
In one case, that required four 20-person teams to congregate in one east Vancouver block at the same time.
About 25 people monitored the raid teams progress in real time and were informed when a home was entered, secured and left, Cooke said.
We designed it so each team was self-sufficient in the field, he said.
Planners expected to arrest 40 to 60 prisoners (they ended up with 49). They decided to create a mobile booking station at Vancouver Fire Department Station 4 in the Orchards area to avoid overwhelming the jail booking staff, Cooke said.
Suspects were booked in the field and transported to the jail by vans.
Commanders had to plan much more than just tactical details for the day.
That included arranging meals for officers, who would be working from 6 a.m. through the evening. Neighbors on Watch volunteers delivered sack lunches prepared by the jail food service to officers on location processing evidence or monitoring homes.
The teams in the field, we wanted them to work uninterrupted, Cooke said.
Overtime and staffing costs for the day will be largely picked up by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, a federal group.
Drug task forces can petition the group to pay for drug investigations that require significant financial resources, Cooke said.
He asserts that the operation was a good use of time and money.
Many people say that marijuana is harmless, but they dont talk about the stories of teenagers who stop caring about school, sports and friends, he said.
I still want people to grow up to be productive members of society, he said. I dont think marijuana and drugs are a productive choice.
If they can identify the ringleaders, I believe they will be charged under RICO. These grow houses are all over the place here because Clark County has the highest foreclosure rate in the State of Washington, and several of these Vietnamese growers owned multiple houses, in one case as many as 8, and another who had three houses side be side in the same neighborhood.
Several belong to absentee landlords who don't ask any questions as long as they get that check every month. No property management companies involved here. Imagine their surprise when they find out about the grow house on their property and have to show cause why the house should not be seized. If there is any damage from mold and mildew, imagine their further surprise when their homeowner's insurance refused to pay for any damage that is the result of longterm criminal activity.
The only good news is that at least these ones were not stealing electricity. The police have raided six other grow houses here in town this year that had illegally wired around the electric meters in order to hook up all of their high watt grow lights. These houses apparently paid for their electricity.
Some people here think this was a waste of money, but I imagine they did not have one of these grow houses in their neighborhood. These are not medical marijuana grows, these are continuing criminal enterprises belated to Asian gang activity.
I thank God the police shut this down before the Mexican gangs found out about this and decided to take them out their way...
Oregon and Washington *ping*, please!
Well, of course not! Don't be a big silly!!
The extra funding, the guaranteed overtime, the confiscated assets.....all that good stuff goes away if they ever actually won the War on (Some) Drugs.
Operation Gang Green? Does this have anything to do with Solyndra, Al Gore, Michael Mann, the IPCC, Climate Research Unit....etc etc etc?
It has to do with ALL GovernMental EnvironMental Sterile Dirt, Water and Air Worshippers!!! (America’s new state religion and constitutional over-ride)
The entities named above are collectively known as GANG-GREEN!!!
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