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Linn, Benton restaurants linked to money laundering arrests
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Linn, Benton restaurants linked to money laundering arrests

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Five search warrants executed on March 17 yielded 11 arrests and revealed drug manufacturing and money laundering at several restaurants across Linn, Benton and Marion counties.

Linn Interagency Narcotics Enforcement (LINE) reported on Wednesday that 11 people were arrested and charged with racketeering, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and other drug related charges as the result of a long running investigation. Some of the alleged crimes related to money laundering, law enforcement said, took place at local restaurants.

Albany Police Captain Jerry Drum said the department is not releasing the names of the restaurants but did note at least one restaurant was located in Linn County and one in Benton County.

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LINE reported seizing cocaine, 1,900 marijuana plants, 40 pounds of marijuana, more than $373,000, firearms and several vehicles.

Among the 11 people arrested was Albany resident Enrong Zhou, 40, who was charged with racketeering, criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, and money laundering. Lebanon resident Yaorun Li, 27, was also charged with criminal conspiracy and the unlawful manufacturing of marijuana while Pinzheng Zhao, 39, of Sweet Home was charged with all of the above crimes in addition to identity theft.

The remaining individuals arrested were residents of Salem, Portland, Renton, Washington, and San Francisco.

LINE includes law enforcement personnel from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, police departments in Sweet Home, Albany and Lebanon as well as Oregon State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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