Police have identified a suspect in the killing of four people at an Oklahoma marijuana plantation over the weekend, but said they are not releasing a name because it could endanger more people.
Authorities said three men and a woman, both Chinese citizens, were “executed” on a four-hectare property west of Hennessy, about 90 kilometers northwest of Oklahoma City. A fifth victim, also a Chinese citizen, was taken to Oklahoma City Hospital with injuries.
Police said a relative notification was still pending “due to language barriers”.
Authorities have a suspect in mind, but the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is withholding names for now to avoid endangering others.
OSBI said in a press release today that “the suspect was in the building for a considerable amount of time before the execution began.” “Based on our investigation so far, this does not appear to be an accident.”
State troopers today said the victims were shot.
OSBI Captain Stan Florence said authorities believed the suspect was aware of victims who were found dead the night before.
“They all know each other,” said Florence. “I don’t know if they’re relatives or colleagues, but I’m sure these people are all familiar with each other.”
Authorities have not identified the victim. The case is being investigated as a quadruple homicide.
The Oklahoma Department of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control is also investigating the death.
The agency has been targeting criminals in recent years growing and trafficking marijuana for the black market. But agency spokesman Mark Woodward said it was too soon to say that was the focus of the investigation.
“Because it’s a marijuana farm, obviously, according to Oklahoma state law, you have to get a permit from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority and us,” Woodward said. “One of the things we’re looking at is whether it was obtained legally or fraudulently. So that will be part of our investigation.”
Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority spokeswoman Porsha Riley said there are valid licenses for businesses growing medical marijuana in the area.
None of the 14 marijuana growers in the Hennessy area responded to email inquiries from The Associated Press, and officials did not disclose which marijuana plants were operating at the shooting site.
The Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to a reported hostage situation at the farm and contacted state authorities for assistance, Florence said.
A spokeswoman for Florence said police searched the scene and the scene using drones and helicopters late Sunday and Monday (local time), but did not find a suspect.
“There is a lot to be done with this case,” he said. “It will take a little while to process.”
Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, and the industry quickly boomed thanks to open laws that are less restrictive than other states.
In March, voters will decide whether to legalize the recreational use of drugs.
Maryland and Missouri approved recreational marijuana in midterm elections this month, bringing the total to 21 states that allow recreational marijuana use. Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota voters rejected the legalization proposal in the midterm elections.