Two Marijuana Growers Tried to Bribe Siskiyou’s Sheriff and It Completely Backfired

Before attempting to bribe a public official, it's always wise to make sure they're likely to accept. Two individuals are finding that out the hard way after their attempts to buy off Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey went horribly wrong.

Chi Meng Yang, 31, of Montague, and his sister Gaosheng Laitinen, 36, of Mt. Shasta Vista, were charged on Thursday with conspiring to commit bribery, bribery of a public official, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, and manufacturing marijuana, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced in a recent press release.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 17, Yang met with Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey in Yreka. During the meeting, Yang allegedly offered $1 million to Lopey in exchange for his assistance with an interstate marijuana distribution business that Yang and others were in the process of organizing.

Lopey immediately reported the interaction to the FBI. Together, they launched a sting operation, with audio recordings of the subsequent meetings. Yang was arrested on Aug 31.

According to a press release, the full-scale operation involved the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office with help from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the North State Marijuana Investigation Team, the Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement, the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force, the Siskiyou Unified Major Investigations Team, and California Highway Patrol.

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