(UPDATE) 2:20 p.m.- Sgt. David Bottom, BINTF Operations Supervisor, stated this afternoon the two men arrested in the opium bust will be prosecuted locally. Bottom also said it remains unclear at this time if this delivery was a "one-time" deal or if the two were part of a larger operation within the county or state.
In the end of October, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security intercepted a package shipped from Thailand to a residence in Oroville containing 23 pounds of opium, an estimated street value of $265,000. The package was turned over to the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force who obtained search warrants for the house. Yesterday, with the assistance of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Service Inspector, BINTF agents delivered the package to the residence at 2433 V-7 Road in Oroville.
After the package was delivered, Agents made contact with 61-year-old Yao Ching Saeturn and 34-year-old Cheng Ching Saeturn. While executing the warrants, agents found an illegal marijuana growing operation consisting of approximately 182 plants. The plants and the package of opium were confiscated and both men were arrested and booked into the Butte County Jail. Their bail has been set for 100,000 each.
We are awaiting a call back from Sgt. David Bottom, BINTF South Operations Supervisor, to answer follow up inquiries.