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$2.5 million Alhambra-based marijuana operation busted *UPDATED

Asian Gang Team deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are reporting that they arrested two suspects Friday in connection with an illegal $2.5 million indoor marijuana operation in Alhambra and San Gabriel.

The month-long investigation resulted from reports of suspicious activity at the 800 block of South Date Avenue in Alhambra. The apartment, posting as a consultants office, was revealed to be a substantial marijuana grow house. On Thursday afternoon, investigators and Sheriff’s Special Weapons Team deputies served search warrants for the site as well as the San Gabriel residence of 30-year-old Joseph Hsu.

The convicted felon was located at his rental condominium in San Gabriel at the 9100 block of Huntington Drive. A search of his home revealed 40 marijuana plants and 40-50 pounds of dried marijuana, and two handguns and a shotgun. Hsu was arrested for narcotics and weapons charges, and booked at Temple Sheriff’s Station with a bail set at $35,000.

A second person located at the condominium, 22-year-old Pauline McDonnell of Redlands, was also arrested for narcotics charges. Her bail was set at $20,000.

 According to Sergeant Steve Kim of the Asian Gang Team, Hsu is believed to have ties with the Wah Ching street gang, but investigators have not found a connection between the gang and the drug operation.

“A lot of times, gang members operate to support their group. But right now we don’t think [the Wah Ching] is affiliated. We’re still in the process of interview,” Kim said.

Kim told the Los Angeles Times that marijuana growing operations are "pretty common" in the San Gabriel Valley. Last year, his team seized nearly $5 million worth of marijuana at five locations in the area.

Investigators at this moment do not expect to make any other arrests.

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