Sacramento man indicted for international money laundering, marijuana grow operations in Elk Grove

October 9, 2018 |  

A Sacramento man was indicted at U.S. District Court in Sacramento as part of a massive international money laundering scheme that included illegal marijuana grow houses in Elk Grove.

A 10-count indictment was unsealed on Friday, October 5 charging Daniel Zhu, 38, with conspiracy to commit international money laundering, substantive counts of international money laundering, and conspiracy to manufacture and manufacturing of marijuana. The indictment is part of the FBI's Operation Lights Out - an operation that has already resulted in federal forfeiture actions against over 100 homes in the Sacramento area earlier this year.

Zhu is alleged to have conspired with others to grow marijuana at three locations in Sacramento and Amador counties. As part of the scheme, Zhu is charged in two separate money laundering conspiracies that entailed international wires from China being used to purchase real estate in California that was subsequently turned into a marijuana cultivation site.

Additionally, Zhu is also charged with substantive money laundering counts for several wires received from China residential dwellings in Elk Grove and Fiddletown in Amador County into indoor marijuana grow sites.

"I am gratified this long and laborious investigation has advanced to this point," Elk Grove Police Chief Noblett said in response to the indictment. "Our detectives worked closely with our federal partners to identify a number of properties in Elk Grove associated with this organized criminal operation."  

Long a problem in Elk Grove, Noblett noted the negative influences the illegal grow operations have on neighborhoods. 

"When criminals choose to utilize residences in our community for the purpose of perpetrating criminal activity of this nature, the quality of life in those neighborhoods is adversely affected," Nobeltt noted. "We will continue to apply our resources and work cooperatively with our partner agencies to do everything possible to protect and preserve the quality of life of our residents."

If convicted, Zhu could face up to 40 years in prison. No trial date has been set.  

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