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ICE Detains Chinese Illegal Alien After Massive Marijuana Bust

Anastasia Boushee
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained a Chinese illegal alien following a massive drug bust in rural south Georgia last week.

There were four Chinese nationals apprehended by Georgia law enforcement during the raid of an illegal marijuana grow farm in Pierce County, with reports indicating that the grow operation’s estimated value was $22.5 million. According to statements from Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett during a press conference, three of the Chinese nationals arrested were in the U.S. legally, while the fourth was an illegal alien.


The successful drug bust was announced on Tuesday by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which joined Pierce County law enforcement’s investigation into the operation. However, authorities did not expect to find marijuana during the raid — as they thought that the building was being used to illegally process food.

The facility was ultimately raided following the four-week investigation, and law enforcement discovered more than 11,000 marijuana plants at all stages of growth in the building. According to Bennett, the marijuana growing operation had likely been going on since 2022 and the individuals running the operation have ties to Staten Island and Houston. This was the largest marijuana bust in Pierce County history.

Zhu Sheng Bing, Jinpeng Ma, Chenhui Shu and Wei Sheng Deng have been charged with felony possession of marijuana and felony marijuana manufacturing. The Chinese nationals are also expected to face trafficking charges. All four of them have been denied bond, but Deng was detained by ICE due to his status as an illegal alien.

Georgia Agricultural Commissioner Tyler Harper has asserted that the marijuana growing operation may be part of a national crime syndicate, pointing out that the operation was very high-tech.


“This was a very sophisticated operation,” Harper said during the press conference about the bust. “Hundreds of thousands of dollars in infrastructure in the facility and, as the sheriff mentioned, ties back to New York and Houston, which is indicative of a national crime syndicate.”

This bust is not unusual, however, because Chinese-backed illegal marijuana farms have been found in rural areas across the U.S. — including in Maine and Tennessee.

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