PORT ORCHARD — A 53-year-old man was arrested Sept. 26 by Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office detectives outside a South Kitsap home and charged in Kitsap County Superior Court the following day on four courts of organizing and managing the operation of four marijuana grow sites in the county and in Pierce County, manufacturing marijuana unlawfully in a building for drug purposes, and second-degree human trafficking.
Xing Quan Wang, whose current address is unknown by law enforcement, was returned to Kitsap County Jail on Sept. 27 after the four counts were submitted before a judge by Benjamin Turner, the county’s deputy prosecuting attorney. Wang, as he was referred to in the certificate of probable cause, was booked for leading organized crime and manufacture marijuana under $200,000 bail.
The maximum penalty for the first count of leading organized crime is life imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine. According to the certificate of probable cause, the defendant is not believed to be a U.S. citizen and is considered to be a flight risk. He has an address history in Flushing, N.Y.
On the second count, Wang was charged with forcing a person to engage in forced labor, involuntary servitude or a sexually explicit or commercial sex act. That count also calls for a maximum life sentence and/or $50,000 fine. The third and fourth counts — manufacture of marijuana and unlawful use of a building for drug purposes, have maximum penalties of five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.
Wang was arrested after he had been placed under surveillance after a tipster named him and Zhong Liu, both who are Chinese nationals, as being ringleaders of four local marijuana grow locations in Kitsap and Pierce counties. One of the grow locations was in a duplex at the 1300 block of Saddle Club Road SE in South Kitsap.
The West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team, or WestNET, estimated the South Kitsap duplex contained an estimated 1,351 marijuana plants, which were recovered by law enforcement. An inquiry under subpoena with Puget Sound Energy showed power usage at the South Kitsap location — under the ownership of the two men — to be between 10 and 15 times greater than the national average of daily power usage, according to the report.
In addition to the three other grow sites in Pierce County, a fifth home had been purchased at the 4500 block of Arvick Road SE in South Kitsap. Detectives, who had obtained search warrants for the sites, reported the Arvick Road location had been undergoing a remodel inside, which consisted of a new venting and filtration system that ran up the chimney. No marijuana grows were found.
A subordinate, Yang Ai Ling, was contacted at the Saddle Club Road home by detectives. She denied knowing anything about the reported illegal activity and said she was from Flushing, N.Y. The woman said she flew out here with a friend because Wang owed her friend some money. The sheriff’s office detective said in the report it was believed Ling was living at that residence while serving as the marijuana grow cultivator.
The woman’s friend, Zhang Yan, told detectives that Wang owed her $60,000. Other individuals from the Pierce County sites were interviewed and shared similar stories regarding their whereabouts.