Delano Herald Journal Editor
COKATO, MN More than 400 marijuana plants were discovered growing in what authorities are calling a sophisticated marijuana grow operation inside a home in Cokato, leading to felony charges against two men.
According to a formal complaint, deputies with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit, the CEE-VI Drug Task Force, and Drug Enforcement Agency executed a search warrant in the 700 block of Lantha Avenue Southeast at 7:08 a.m. May 29.
Deputies located Becker Tuan-Cuong Nguyen, 32, of Burnsville, and Sang Phu Nguyen, 51, of Eagan, inside the home.
In an upstairs bedroom, officers reportedly discovered 205 immature marijuana plants growing in potting soil. Grow lights, heating elements, fresh-air ventilation, dehumidifiers, and fans were reportedly in the room to facilitate the marijuana grow.
In the basement, officers allegedly found a similar setup with 199 mature marijuana plants, fertilizer, and grow feed.
They also discovered 15 vacuum-sealed packages containing a large amount of green, leafy plant material that field-tested positive as marijuana, each weighing about a pound, according to the formal complaint. Two other vacuum-sealed packages and a 5-gallon bucket containing marijuana were also allegedly found in the home.
A total of 14,779 grams, or 32.582 pounds, of fresh marijuana was reportedly in the home during the execution of the search warrant, in addition to the 404 marijuana plants.
Officers also allegedly found .04 grams of a substance that field-tested positive for cocaine in a backpack believed to belong to Becker Nguyen.
Both men are facing charges of second-degree sale of 10 kilos or more of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols; and second-degree possession of 25 kilos or more of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols, or 100 or more plants.
Both charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and or a $500,000 fine.