U.S. seizes ring of Chinese criminal pot-growing houses

U.S. seizes ring of Chinese criminal pot-growing houses
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The U.S. has seized nearly 100 northern California homes used as marijuana farms for a Chinese crime organization, The Associated Press reports. 

Federal and local law enforcement raids led to the seizure of more than 61,000 marijuana plants altogether weighing over 440 pounds, officials said. 

A crime organization based in China's Fujian province purchased the nearly 100 homes through more than 100 separate wire transfers totaling $6.3 million. They then used the homes to grow the massive quantities of marijuana for the black market.

Authorities have tracked shipments of the homes' products across the country, distributed through points in Atlanta, Chicago and New York. 

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U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott told the AP that the raid likely cost the Chinese syndicate "hundreds of millions" in profits. Marijuana is a legal recreational substance in California, while the federal government still enforces restrictions on the drug. 

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLisa Page sues DOJ, FBI over alleged privacy violations Sessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry MORE, long known for his tough stances against the drug trade, earlier this year reversed an Obama-era Justice Department guideline to decrease federal enforcement of marijuana offenses in states where it has been legalized. 

Sessions said in statement to the AP that transnational criminal organizations are “a blight on our communities, bringing dangerous drugs to our streets and trying to impose a false sovereignty over our neighborhoods."