Two arrested in county drug raids sentenced

53 other defendants still awaiting trial

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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Two people have pleaded guilty and received prison sentences and 53 other defendants charged in the Operation Gang Green drug raids have trial dates set for this spring.

One of the 53 defendants was scheduled to plead guilty Thursday, but attorneys postponed the hearing until Feb. 2.

The defendants are charged in connection with the Oct. 13 effort that took place throughout Clark County and netted more than 7,000 marijuana plants following raids involving about 300 police officers.

Dwight Naipo, 30, one of the two already convicted, pleaded guilty Dec. 7 in Clark County Superior Court to manufacture of a controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances. He was sentenced to a one year in prison.

On Jan. 12, Minh Troung, 33, also pleaded guilty in Clark County to manufacture of a controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Prosecutors have said 18 of the 55 defendants are believed to be the ring leaders; they are charged in federal court, which can impose longer sentences for drug offenses than state court. Thirty-eight others have trials set in Clark County.

Two-year investigation

The drug ring, believed to be the biggest in Clark County’s history, allegedly shipped 47 pounds of marijuana to Wyoming, 54 pounds to Portland and 38 pounds to Nebraska, according to court documents.

It was uncovered during a two-year police investigation.

Investigators said the group had made Clark County a major marijuana distributor on the West Coast. Few defendants have long-standing ties to Vancouver and most are from Seattle, Honolulu or California.

Homes that were rented or purchased throughout the county were used for their growing operations. Most homes had between 100 and 300 plants, prosecutors said.