17 arrested at Farmington motel on marijuana trafficking charge

FARMINGTON – Law enforcement officers arrested 17 people at a local motel and booked them into jail last Friday morning for allegedly trafficking marijuana.

The suspects were allegedly trimming marijuana plants in multiple rooms as marijuana was being stored in several other rooms in the motel, according to court records.

Guoyun Liao

Savang Jing, Guoyun Liao, Ji Kan, Hao Tan, Si Qin, Qi You Li, Qin Liang Wang, Jing Jiao Qin, Wei Wen, Pin Hui Gu, Bi Xie, Jin Qin, Zhiqiang Tan, Lian Jiang, Chon Ying Huang, Chun Xiong and Xiao Xia Si were arrested by law enforcement at the Travel Inn motel at 1510 W. Main St. in Farmington, just west of the Walmart.

The suspects are all charged with a second-degree felony count of trafficking controlled substances along with fourth-degree felony counts of distribution/possession with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit distribution of a controlled substance.

San Juan County Adult Detention Center records show they were booked into the county jail in the early morning hours of Oct. 9. The suspects did not have legal representation on Tuesday morning.

Capt. Kevin Burns of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office told The Daily Times the investigation is taking time due to language barriers as the suspects speak different dialects in the Chinese language, as well as other languages from Asia.

Burns oversees the Region II Narcotics Task Force and Sgt. Garrett Morris of the Sheriff’s Office is an operations supervisor for the narcotics task force. Region II agents assisted in the investigation of the drug bust.

Law enforcement was dispatched around 5:48 p.m. last Thursday to the Travel Inn after a woman reported seeing a man move marijuana from his vehicle into a motel room, according to the probable cause statement for Xiao Xia Si. The woman complained of the strong smell of marijuana coming from multiple vehicles with California license plates in the parking lot.

A Farmington Police Department sergeant approached motel room 112, and a man opened the door. The sergeant could smell and see large amounts of marijuana on the floor. The occupants were ordered to exit the room, and it was sealed as investigators prepared a search warrant. The occupants of rooms 115 and 215 were also ordered out after marijuana was discovered in those rooms. Suspects in rooms 112, 115 and 215 also were charged in the case. A detective noted that it appeared the marijuana was being stored and prepared for sale.

Jail records show most of the suspects arrested are from Los Angeles.

Black, heavy-duty plastic was laid on the floor of those three rooms, with what appeared to be marijuana laid on top. Large amounts of the substance were spread out on plastic tarps in four other rooms. One motel room had more than 25 large, heavy-duty trash bags full of marijuana. A test by investigators confirmed it was marijuana, according to court documents.

Guoyun Liao was allegedly identified by one of the suspects as being in charge of the operation. Liao was listed by the motel as the “owner” of 19 rooms at the Travel Inn, according to court documents. He requested an attorney after being read his rights and was not interviewed.

Burns said the marijuana seized from the motel was the largest amount in recent history by Region II investigators in the county.

Neither the charging documents nor Burns specified the quantity of marijuana seized.

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


Man killed near Route 66 Casino
ABQnews Seeker
A man in his 20s was ... A man in his 20s was shot and killed near Route 66 Casino Hotel on Saturday night, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office. ...
Roommate arrested after ABQ woman is set on fire
ABQnews Seeker
Victim was doused with gasoline, is ... Victim was doused with gasoline, is flown to burn center in Lubbock
APD: Driver who caused fatal crash may have been ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police say narcotics appear to ... Albuquerque police say narcotics appear to be a factor in a Friday night crash on Central Avenue that left a motorcyclist dead. The crash ...
APD investigating overnight shooting
ABQnews Seeker
Police are investigating an overnight shooting ... Police are investigating an overnight shooting in Northwest Albuquerque that left one person in critical condition. Officer Chase Jewell, a spokesman with the Albuquerque ...
Prosecutor: Airman accused of murder tried to cover his ...
Actions actually helped highlight his movements ... Actions actually helped highlight his movements after woman's killing, state says
Victims of crime found a champion
Edith Surgan's true legacy is the ... Edith Surgan's true legacy is the trail she blazed for those who refuse to let her work ever stop
Woman doused in gasoline, set ablaze in NW Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Victim has been hospitalized with 'significant ... Victim has been hospitalized with 'significant injuries'
Auto theft suspect killed by APD was holding a ...
ABQnews Seeker
Man fled during police pat down ... Man fled during police pat down
APD looking for driver who almost ran over officer
ABQnews Seeker
Police are trying to find the ... Police are trying to find the person who attempted to hit an officer with a stolen truck Monday afternoon in a motel parking lot. ...