Navajo land for illegal marijuana grows
Navajo land for illegal marijuana grows

The Navajo vs Illegal Chinese Marijuana Grows - Stranger Than Fiction

How did illegal Chinese marijuana grows end up on Navajo Reservations?

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Tuesday Oct 6, 2020

Navajo vs Illegal Chinese Marijuana Grows – Stranger than Fiction

navajo lands for illegal weed growing

They say that “Truth is stranger than fiction” and while this might not always been the case, sometimes it’s dead on. The story that I’m going to cover was from an article entitled “Chaos and Cannabis” and was published on the website “Searchlight”.


As you look at the article you can see a young man sitting on the back of a horse with what seems to be an M4 Assault Rifle strapped on his chest. Underneath the picture reads the caption;


“Like others in the Shiprock area, this man - who identified himself only as Alex and said he was unaffiliated with either side - carries a weapon out of concerns about security.”


But what could make this young man fear for his safety in Navajo territory?


It turns out that in Shiprock New Mexico, there is an operation that has evaded law enforcement and is so bizarre – it made me want to condense whatever the hell is going on there in this article for my own understanding.


The Set Up


Let’s start from the beginning. There’s this guy named Dineh Benally, who’s a controversial political figure within the Navajo nation. He has leased roughly 400-acres of plots on the land there and then fenced off the area. Then – brought in a bunch of greenhouses, imported immigrants from Asia, Mexico and of course from the Navajo youth as well to come work on these farms.


Allegedly, the farms grow Hemp – but some of the workers confessed saying that they primarily grow cannabis. Yet here’s where it gets interesting. While growing cannabis is illegal on Navajo land – growing Hemp is really not even a law there. In other words, there is nothing to legally allow them to get a warrant to check it out.


All we can say is, “Well played Benally” for finding this little loophole that is allowing him to grow excessive amounts of weed; with the DEA, Navajo law enforcement and any other authority figure out unable to do anything about it.


This doesn’t mean that law enforcement isn’t trying to bust Benally, but as of now they haven’t been able to.


Strange Partners


Benally’s business partners include a man named Irving Lin – an LA Real Estate Agent who is one of his main partners and Dami Lin, a Las Vegas “international man of business” who helped create One World Ventures Inc.


This company also obtained funding from SPI Energy Co – which is a publically traded Chinese based company.


This explains the sudden surge of Asian immigrants and according to some who live in the area, they suspect that it could also be part of a human trafficking ring. Some evidence of this includes locals spotting immigrants with suitcases on the side of the road trying to get back to their home country – not able to speak a word of English.


The presence of these immigrants also is sparking clashes with local residents who sees Hemp as predatory to their way of life. And so, the locals have been strapping up mainly because these Marijuana-Hemp farms also have armed guards.


According to the workers – the ones carrying the guns tend to be Chinese.


What is going on?


It turns out that “Chinese cannabis operations” in the US is not uncommon. Here’s a snippet from the article;


In August 2018, agents from the DEA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement raided a large black-market marijuana growing operation in Cortez, Colorado, 40 miles north of Shiprock. The raid was part of a federal investigation into a California-linked Chinese drug trafficking network in Colorado. It culminated in May 2019 with the seizure of more than 80,000 marijuana plants — the biggest black-market marijuana bust in state history, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.  


As you can see – while the Mexican Cartels were getting all the attention from the public, people seem to have forgotten the highly-efficient illegal Chinese growing operations in the United States.


This is something I don’t think many people saw coming – but it’s also not surprising seeing that where there is a market with a large profit margin [or any profit margin at all] – there will be Chinese presence. It’s the same for every other industry, so why not for cannabis?


These criminal enterprises are not your typical grow sites. They walk a fine line between legal agriculture and illegal drug manufacturing. Of course – Benally wants to paint this as a “legitimate hemp business” but the truth of the matter is that when you have immigrants on the side of the road trying to get back to Saigon because they were duped – you can’t help but question the legitimacy of the operation.


Currently, the farm has a restraining order and authorities are trying to restrict the operations – but if this is only one of the many Chinese-run cannabis operations in the US – why the hell do we even have a DEA in the first place?


Either way – this is one crazy story that could very well become a mini-series. It’s got all the elements for great TV.








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