Thu Anh "Diana" Tran, 32, and her husband, James Nguyen, 47,
admitted to owning 10 houses that they leased to indoor
marijuana-growing operations. Raids on six of the homes yielded nearly
4,000 marijuana plants, according to federal task force agents. In a
good year, that many plants could reap profits of several million
But wait, that’s not all!
Tran’s family operated Kent Garden Supplies, which the Drug
Enforcement Agency alleges was the hub of a sophisticated pot-growing
model commonly used in British Columbia. The store sold or leased grow
lights and all the other equipment needed to cultivate marijuana,
Store employees allegedly helped grow operations set up, provided
advice on issues ranging from fertilizer to how to avoid
law-enforcement detection, and then helped distribute the drugs. In
some cases, the store allegedly provided the growing materials on
credit paid from the crop’s profits.
Now, this is the kind of customer service you want from a garden center! Selling you the right fertilizer is one thing, but advice on avoiding law enforcement? What gardener couldn’t benefit from information like this?
I live in Humboldt County, CA, where garden centers might sell indoor air filtration systems and high-tech security fencing in addition to all that quote-unquote tomato fertilizer. Sometimes when I look around my neighborhood and wonder why I don’t see more people out gardening, I have to remind myself: Oh yeah. They’re gardening. They’re just doing it inside.