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Pasadena Man Accused in Real Estate Pot Scheme is Last Defendant Standing

Published on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | 6:21 am

A Pasadena man is the only defendant who has not pleaded guilty in an alleged scheme to buy homes to convert into illegal marijuana grow houses.

Jimmy Yu, 45, is accused of being a caretaker of grow houses in San Bernardino County. He is scheduled for trial next February.

Yu faces five counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana plants and five counts of maintaining a place for the manufacturing and distribution of marijuana. He also has been charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute at least 1,000 marijuana plants, and conspiracy to maintain drug-involved premises.

“If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles in an email to Pasadena Now.

Two others have already pleaded guilty in the case.

Lin Li, a.k.a. Aaron Li, 38, on Tuesday entered his plea to one count of conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute at least 1,000 marijuana plants. The real estate agent from Chino faces life in prison when he’s sentenced next March.

Li pleaded guilty to coordinating a scheme that used millions of dollars to buy nine homes in San Bernardino County from 2013 to 2017, then turned those houses into pot grow sites.

Ben Chen, 43, of Alhambra, who also took care of the marijuana grows, pleaded guilty in May 2019. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 17.

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