A suspect was detained after four people were “executed” at a marijuana farm in Oklahoma over the weekendauthorities said Tuesday.
Wu Chen, 45, was arrested in Miami, Florida, shortly before 4 p.m. when a license plate reader pointed to the vehicle he was driving, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
Chen was detained without incident and awaits extradition to Oklahoma, where he is expected to face charges of murder and shooting with intent to kill, the agency said.
It was not immediately clear if Chen has an attorney speaking on his behalf.
In an earlier statement, the office said the victims included three men and one woman. They were not identified, but described as Chinese nationals.
A fifth Chinese national was injured in the incident, which occurred on Sunday in a rural area northwest of Oklahoma City, the agency said. The person’s condition was not immediately available.
The suspect entered a building on the property at 5:45 p.m., according to the statement. Several employees were inside at the time, and the suspect remained there for a “significant amount of time before the executions began,” the agency said.
The statement added that the killings did not appear to be random.
The office did not say how the victims were killed. In a statement Monday, authorities said officers responding to a report of a hostage situation found their bodies.
Armed officers were seen Monday searching the property for the suspect. A helicopter and a drone were also used, Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR reported.
A spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs said Tuesday that the agency was investigating whether an active medical marijuana license obtained by the grow operation was valid.
Efforts to reach someone at the business on Tuesday were unsuccessful. Contacted by phone, a commercial real estate agent who managed a listing for the land said she knew nothing about the owner.
The property, described in the listing as 10 acres with 5,000 square feet of grow space and 50 temporary greenhouses, or greenhouses, went on the market in May for $999,999.
A neighbor, Brandon Walker, said the property used to be a dairy farm but was sold in recent years to an investment company, which sold the land again before it was converted to a farming operation.
Since Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, more than 10,000 businesses have been authorized and 1 in 10 residents they have obtained cards that allow them to buy the product.
In May, Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill temporarily blocking new dispensary and processing licenses. the movement arrived after lawmakers said business operations that included foreign and out-of-state growers were exploiting in-state residency requirements and limited enforcement resources.
While the status of the grow operation where the quadruple homicide occurred remains unclear, law enforcement officials have reported an increase in black market operators using suspected human trafficking victims, including Chinese nationals, to grow and trim marijuana sold in legal dispensaries.
This story first appeared in NBCNews.com.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com