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Nara trial begins for yakuza nabbed in ¥2 billion pot bust

Junichi Kimura
Junichi Kimura of the Azuma-gumi

NARA (TR) – The trial of four persons, including three gang members, charged with raising marijuana plants valued at more than two billion yen began in Yamatotakada City on Thursday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 2).

At a hearing at the Kazuraki branch of the Nara District Court, Junichi Kimura, 54-year-old member of the Osaka-based Azuma-gumi, two members of the same gang, and Yukio Nakao, 63, admitted to violating the Cannabis Control Act managing a marijuana cultivation operation that involved thousands of plants inside a factory in the town of Katsuragi, Wakayama Prefecture.

In an opening statement, the prosecution claimed that Nakao rented the factory property in April of last year and made investments in materials and equipment for cultivation valued at 40 million yen. Each day, he visited the factory to check on the crop.

Kimura served as a consultant to the operation, visiting the property two to three times each week. He was paid between 400,000 and 500,000 yen, the prosecution added.

According to the indictment, the four defendants worked together to raise about 11,000 plants between July and October of last year.

When officers raided the operation in October, about 4,000 dried plants valued at around two billion yen were found on the premises.