Swede held in major US pot bust

A Swedish man was arrested in the United States over the weekend in connection with the seizure of marijuana plants valued at $3 million.

Swede held in major US pot bust

Van Dat Nguyen, a naturalized Swedish citizen originally from Vietnam, is being held in the Cowlitz County Jail in Washington state on suspicions of manufacturing marijuana as well as possession with intent to distribute, reports the The Daily News newspaper.

When police arrested Nguyen on Sunday in the town of Kelso, they discovered 27 grams of marijuana buds in his car.

“I’m shocked,” said Nguyen’s 20-year-old daughter to the Expressen newspaper.

According to Expressen, Nguyen, 49, has four children and resides in the Stockholm area.

Police in Washington state suspect Nguyen was part to a sophisticated marijuana growing operation which involved diverting power from the electrical grid to two houses in the area.

By bypassing the houses’ electricity metres, the technique helped the growers to hide the large amount of electricity needed to power their operation.

The raid yielded more than 1,000 marijuana plants, 87.5 pounds (40 kilograms) of processed marijuana, eight bundles of stalks, and 444 other marijuana stalks and root balls, the Longview Street Crimes Unit reported to The Daily News.

Neighbours who suspected illicit activity at the houses originally tipped off police, who began their investigation last month.

Nguyen, 49, is also wanted by Canadian authorities on charges of producing a controlled substance and trafficking.

US immigration authorities have also placed a detainer on him, as his visa to the United States expired in March.