Six Nabbed in Elmhurst in Massive Marijuana Bust

Six Nabbed in Elmhurst in Massive Marijuana Bust

PHOTO: Authorities on Monday arrested six men in Elmhurst who were allegedly transporting more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.  Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Six men on Monday were charged with illegally possessing more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana after members of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Task Force discovered them transferring cardboard cartons containing the drug from a tractor trailer to two smaller vehicles parked on an Elmhurst block.

Weiyang Yao, 47, of Cucamonga, CA, Yuejiang Zeng, 53, of San Gabriel, CA, Shan Wu Zhang, 30, of British Columbia, Canada, and Duanzhao Zhang, 38, Tong Shun Zhang, 29, and Tong Zhew Zhang, 24, all of Brooklyn.

Each has been arraigned on a criminal complaint charging them with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

According to the charges, task force members were on Ireland Street on Monday afternoon when they saw six Asian men unloading cardboard boxes from an 18-wheel semi-tractor trailer into a smaller U-Haul truck and another cargo van. As the officers approached the vehicles, they were allegedly overwhelmed by a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the tractor trailer and from the boxes being transferred to the two smaller vehicles. The agents and officers observed seven large pallets holding cardboard boxes stacked at least six feet high in the tractor trailer. The cardboard boxes held a total of more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic bags. Additionally, it is alleged that between $200,000 and $300,000 in stacked and bundled U.S. currency was recovered from inside the three vehicles.

If convicted, each suspect faces up to five-and-a-half years in prison.

“The seizure and arrests surprised us just as much as it surprised the defendants when arrested,” said James Hunt, special agent in charge of the DEA’s NY Division. “However, it shows that law enforcement agents and officers possess the keen ability to spot the things that don’t belong. In this case, the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force spotted and seized over $3.5 million dollars worth of marijuana that was destined to be trafficked throughout NYC.”

Brown added that the six suspects “who hail from California, Canada and Brooklyn, made a mistake by stopping in Queens County to distribute their illegal wares. They now face serious drug charges.”


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