SACRAMENTO, CA - A three-state drug trafficking bust led to the arrest of 14 people and the seizure of 1,300 pounds of marijuana.
Dylan Hudson, 26, of Placerville was charged with conspiracy to grow and distribute marijuana and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute on Thursday by a federal grand jury, said Lauren Horwood, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of California.
On March 8, a tip lead police to a private shipping company in West Sacramento, where authorities seized 80 pounds of high grade marijuana, then allowed the empty crate continue on to Chicago, California Attorney General's Office said.
INTERESTING READING: Affidavit for search warrant for suspected Placerville pot storage facility
In Chicago, officers followed Hudson and Jon Stansfield, of Chicago, to Milwaukee, Wisc, where they arrested the two men and seized another 120 pounds of marijuana and $300,000 in cash.
On the same day, authorities executed a search warrant on Hudson's property on the 3000 block of Charm Way, in Placerville, where 946 pounds of processed marijuana, 2 pounds of hash, eight firearms, $100,000 in cash, $35,000 in silver bars and gold coins, three generators and two ATVs were seized, the attorney general's office said.
Another 11 adults were arrested during the search, and face felony charges of growing marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales, sales and trafficking of marijuana and conspiracy. The suspects were booked into El Dorado County Jail.
Court documents allege that Hudson ran the interstate pot trafficking ring, Horwood said.
Officers served another search warrant at a Pilot Hill ranch, which also belonged to Hudson's drug trafficking ring, the attorney general's office said. The ranch, authorities recovered an indoor marijuana grow and over 73 pounds of processed marijuana and packaging materials for shipping the marijuana.
The attorney general's office said officers arrested Kenneth Hayes, who was part of the trafficking ring, at Sacramento International Airport when he returned from Wisconsin.
Agents also got control of the Pilot Hill property, estimated value of $450,000, the Placerville property, estimated value of $300,000, a condo in Indonesia, belonging to Hayes, estimated value of $17,000, and several bank accounts.
"As this case makes clear, law enforcement agencies throughout this country are united in their resolve to protect our communities from the blight of large-scale narcotics trafficking," ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Francisco special agent Clark Settles said. "We stand ready to use every tool and resource at our disposal to attack and dismantle these dangerous criminal organizations."
Horwood said Hudson faces a minimum of five years in prison and maximum of 40 years, plus a $5 million, if convicted.
Authorities are seeking federal indictments on 13 individuals who were arrested. Currently they are being held on state charges at the county jail, the attorney general's office said.
The investigation is ongoing.
The drug trafficking bust was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Sacramento, Chicago, and Milwaukee, Wisc.; the California Department of Justice; the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team; the Chicago Police Department; El Dorado County Sheriff's Department; and the Dane County (Wisc.) Sheriff's Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jill Thomas and Special Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Lee, Alex Lozada, and David Petersen are prosecuting the case.