GUNMA (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested five persons, including a member of a criminal syndicate, who are suspected of trafficking and cultivating marijuana in Gunma Prefecture, reports NHK (Oct. 29).
On Wednesday, police entered the residence of Masayoshi Koide, a 46-year-old member of the Matsuba-kai, in Shibukawa City and found 213 marijuana plants and 2 kilograms of dried marijuana.
The contraband is valued at around 72 million yen, the Tama-Chuo Police Station said.
The plants were growing on the first and second floors of the house. Police also seized various lighting and ventilation equipment used in the cultivation of the plants.
Thus far, police have accused the suspects of possessing 18 grams of marijuana for the purpose of sale.
Two of the suspects admit to the allegations. However, the other three deny the charges. “I shared the marijuana but never sold it,” Koide was quoted.
Maebashi bust in September
One of the four other suspects is 47-year-old Kenji Ishikawa, of no known occupation. Last month, police found 154 marijuana plants and 1 kilogram of marijuana — valued at around 66 million yen — at his residence in Maebashi City.
Police initially arrested him for allegedly possessing 66 grams of marijuana. During questioning, Ishikawa said that the marijuana was his but that growing was his “hobby.”
An analysis of his urine gave a positive result for kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 11).
Based on information provided by Ishikawa, police conducted the raid in Shibukawa on Wednesday.