21 Chinese nationals indicted in Colorado following investigation into large money-laundering conspiracy

Marijuana grow vote expected in Saguache Co.
Posted at 4:27 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 18:28:12-04

DENVER – Twenty-one Chinese nationals were indicted in Colorado this week in connection with a year-long investigation into a large money-laundering conspiracy, officials with the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, along with other law enforcement partners, announced during a news conference Thursday.

Documents from the 45-count indictment allege these Chinese nationals illegally grew marijuana and laundered their drug proceeds through a sophisticated system of social media apps, QR codes and illegal money brokers in China. Additionally, the documents allege these Chinese nationals grew and distributed the marijuana throughout the. Denver metro area with grows and stash houses across Colorado.

“This isn’t just a grow (house). This is organized crime,” said 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner during the announcement.

Kellner said the operation in Colorado was believed to be a microcell of money launderers, and added that this was going on a macro level across the U.S.

“The defendants in this case are alleged to have gone to great lengths to carry out their sophisticated money laundering conspiracy to fund illegal activity, and they will now face justice for their crimes,” said Steven Cagen, special agent in charge, HSI Denver.

The identities of the 21 Chinese nationals indicted in this investigation are as follows: Lin Zhang

  • Yan Chen
  • Cindy Zheng
  • Weilun Zhang
  • Xin He
  • A Wei Chen
  • Kui Chen
  • Guo Cai Chen
  • Chun Jin Lin
  • He Xian Chen
  • Guo Li Liu
  • Yan Zhang Liu
  • Gaoyu Chen
  • Lan Fang Wu
  • Pin Chen
  • Guo Fu Chen
  • Wei Lian Fu
  • Yunrong Liu
  • Xiaohui Tang
  • Lin Chen
  • Zhu Zhu Chen

Charges against these suspects range from racketeering and conspiracy under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act to drug cultivation and distribution to money laundering. The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said the top counts are Class 2 felonies.