Suspect in illegal Navajo marijuana operation growing plants near Estancia | Local NewsPosted by On

The northeast corner of the Navajo Nation is still dotted with abandoned greenhouses — the remnants of one of the federal government’s largest marijuana busts — now tattered and sun-worn from years in the elements.

The trafficking victims who once toiled in the greenhouses — most of them Chinese laborers — are scattered across the country, their lives in shambles after a massive raid shut down the illegal business in 2020.

But as federal investigations near their third year without any charges filed, Dineh Benally, the Navajo cannabis entrepreneur who orchestrated the operation, appears no closer to facing arrest. Instead, he’s expanding his marijuana business in New Mexico — again with the help of Chinese laborers, the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office said.

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