PROSSER, Wash. -- More than 15 agencies and the D.E.A. arrested 19 people for reportedly growing marijuana in Yakima Valley Vineyards in "Operation Green Jam."
The three year investigation targeted a drug trafficking organization within the Yakima Valley. 19-suspects were arrested in Washington, Oregon and California. The suspects face numerous charges, including manufacturing and distributing marijuana and money laundering.
D.E.A detectives say instead of sneaking on to other people's land and planting a crop, the suspects bought or leased grape vineyards. It has been going on since 2004.
Those in the wine business say the news was a bit surprising.
"I do know that in general, its sneaking into somebody's property to start their grow op, and then get it out of there before somebody discovers them. I think it's pretty brazen for them to lease it and plant a crop," said Diane Myers, Tasting Room Manager.
Those involved will be forced to forfeit more than $3.4 million in assets.