Man Allegedly Demanded $300K Before Killing 4 Pot Farm Workers

Wu Chen was charged Friday, and prosecutors are arguing for no bond
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2022 1:24 AM CST
Prosecutors: Man Demanded $300K Before Killing 4 Pot Farm Workers
This photo provided by the Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation Department shows Wu Chen.   (Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation Department via AP)

The man charged with "executing" four people at an illegal pot farm in Oklahoma last month first held workers at the farm at gunpoint and demanded they give him $300,000, which he referred to as a return on his investment in the industrial-scale grow operation, prosecutors say. Wu Chen, who was arrested after the slayings, opened fire "within minutes" of that demand, prosecutors say in a filing requesting Chen be held without bond, NBC News reports. "That fact that it could not be handed over on a moment’s notice was what precipitated the mass murder," the filing reads, noting that it's not clear why Chen was demanding the money. They note that Chen could have unaccountable cash from the pot farm proceeds, which would help him flee if he's released on bond.

Victims Quirong Lin, Chen He Chun, Chen He Qiang and Fang Hui Lee, as well as Yi Fei Lin, who was injured in the incident, are all Chinese nationals, as is Chen. Prosecutors describe him as having "no binding ties to Oklahoma outside of his criminal activity," including his alleged involvement with the pot farm, which has since been seized by law enforcement. Prosecutors say eyewitnesses identified him as the murderer, and said he worked at the pot farm about a year ago, ABC News reports. "His conduct shows him to be an intolerably dangerous criminal, ready to take human life at a moment’s notice, and the witnesses he has left alive would be in very real danger if he were allowed to be free on bond," the filing reads. (Read more Oklahoma stories.)

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