SAN FRANCISCO — Two Northern California marijuana farmers have been charged with offering a sheriff $1 million to turn a blind eye to their cannabis-growing operations.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento charged siblings Chi Meng Yang and Gaosheng Laitinen with attempting to bribe Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey to protect their farms from raids. The complaint, unsealed Thursday, also alleges the brother and sister intended to sell their crop in Missouri, where efforts are underway to legalize marijuana in that state.
Lopey said it started on May 17 when Yang met with the sheriff and a department captain in his Yreka, California office, about 300 miles (483 kilometers) north of San Francisco near the Oregon border.
Lopey said Yang offered to donate $1 million to any charity or cause the sheriff desired once he sold his crop in exchange for shielding 10 large-scale pot farms from raids. Siskiyou County bars the outdoor marijuana farms and limits the number of…