A suspect has been apprehended in the ‘violent execution style’ killing of four Chinese nationals at a marijuana farm in rural Oklahoma.
Wu Chen, 45, was arrested without incident by the Miami Beach Police Department on Tuesday around 4pm. He was wanted on a fugitive warrant from Kingfisher, Oklahoma.
Authorities located Chen and his getaway car in Florida after a license plate reader flagged his vehicle.
Chen is facing charges of murder and shooting with intent to kill and will be extradited to Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), The New York Times reported.
Police said the victims had not yet been identified publicly, and their next-of-kin notification was still pending ‘because of a significant language barrier.
A fifth person, also a Chinese citizen, was seriously injured and airlifted to a nearby hospital, police said.
Wu Chen, 45, was arrested without incident by the Miami Beach Police Department on Tuesday around 4pm. He was wanted on a fugitive warrant from Kingfisher, Oklahoma
The 10-acre marijuana farm where four Chinese nationals were killed ‘execution-style’ on Sunday and where one person was injured
Officials at the scene after the quadruple homicide at the rural 10-acre marijuana farm located in Lacey, about 55 miles northwest of Oklahoma City in Kingfisher County
Captain Stan Florence (pictured) of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said at a Monday news conference that Chen knew the victims but it was unclear their connection
The shooting took place at a massive 10-acre marijuana farm located in Lacey, about 55 miles northwest of Oklahoma City in Kingfisher County.
Kingfisher County Sheriff Dennis Banther told the Times & Free Press that Chen and the five victims are of Asian descent with ties to the grow facility.
Banther said it was not a random shooting and that it was related to an internal dispute that took place.
Captain Stan Florence of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said at a Monday news conference that Chen knew the victims but it was unclear what their connection was.
‘They all know each other,’ he said, The New York Times reported. ‘Don’t know if they’re related, don’t know if they’re co-workers, but certainly, we believe they were all familiar with each other
DailyMail.com contacted the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to get further details on the case but no one was available for comment.
OSBI spokesperson Brook Arbeitman said a motive has not been released and officials were still investigating.
The shooting spree took place around 5:45 pm Sunday when the suspect entered the building at the marijuana farm. Several workers were inside the building at the time, the spokesperson said.
Chen had been inside the building ‘for a significant amount of time’ before the carnage took place, the authorities say. The victims were found around 7 pm.
Deputies at the Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Office were initially called to the pot farm regarding a hostage situation.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, an agency that is also investigating the crime, said the marijuana farm had a license to grow marijuana, according to spokesman Mark Woodward, the news outlet reported.
But, Woodward said officials were still investigating whether that license had been obtained legally or fraudulently.
Woodward said that there have been ‘several homicides tied to medical marijuana businesses in Oklahoma,’ the news outlet reported.
The state has distributed approximately 8,500 licenses to grow marijuana since the spring of 2021, but of that number about 2,000 of those licenses were obtained fraudulently, officials said.
Woodward said the state requires that those seeking at least a 75 percent ownership of a marijuana farm must show that they have been living in Oklahoma for at least a minimum of two years.
But said the rule was easy to circumvent, people from countries like China and Mexico — finding ‘ghost owners’ in the state to help fulfill the requirement and establish criminal organizations that grow for the black market.
Though he said he ‘can’t say that that’s what this group is doing,’ which he stressed will be determined by the investigation. He also added that ‘there’s also a violence aspect’ tied to the criminal organizations, with unpaid debts often leading to violence.