Four charged in marijuana grow operation

Dakota County officials announced today that four suspects have been charged in connection with a marijuana-growing operation involving hundreds of plants at grow sites in Apple Valley and Shakopee.

According to the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, deputies learned of the operation from a neighbor’s complaint regarding a strong odor of marijuana emanating from one of the grow sites.

The Dakota County Drug Task Force subsequently obtained warrants and searched five locations — in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan and Shakopee — on May 28.

Two of the locations where searches were conducted — at 7295 130th St. W. in Apple Valley and at 6445 Oxford Road S. in Shakopee — had marijuana plants growing on site.

The other three locations — at 13112 High Point Curve in Burnsville, and at 4463 Slater Road and 2109 Royal Court in Eagan — were either “stash houses” or residences, according to Dakota County Chief Deputy Tim Leslie.

Evidence seized during the investigation included more than 350 “high quality” marijuana plants and between five and six pounds of finished marijuana product, Leslie said.

Of the more than 350 plants seized, most were at the house in Apple Valley, Leslie indicated, with about three times as many plants there as at the Shakopee site.

Also seized were “large amounts” of currency and marijuana growing equipment, as well as several vehicles.

Each of the four suspects was taken into custody and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime in the second and third degree.

Those charged include:  Thi An Mac, 31, of Burnsville; Nghia Hoang Nguyen, 31, of St. Paul; Trang Uyen Mac, 35, of Burnsville; and Trung Van Nguyen, 39, of Apple Valley.

Though investigation continues on the case, Leslie said “the main part of the investigation is complete, and the rest is just follow-up at this point.”