A Waco family has been linked to an estimated $1 million-a-year marijuana distribution business, with a growth operation in California, police said Tuesday.
Authorities in Yuba County, Calif., raided two residences and two storage units owned by sons of 58-year-old Larry Phillip Koss, the McGregor Police Department said in a statement.
The Kosses, police said, were operating a large network that involved growing, cultivating and distributing marijuana in California and Central Texas.
Larry Phillip Koss; Le Ann Koss, 60; and their son Connor Koss, 25, have been in McLennan County Jail since a Nov. 29 raid of their Waco home, when they were arrested on charges of money laundering, illegal distribution of hashish and illegal distribution of marijuana.
The Yuba County investigation is a follow-up to the Waco raid, which yielded 15 pounds of hashish, an assault rifle, three handguns and about $25,000.
“From what we’ve found, according to the agents from California, this particular operation was more than capable of producing in excess of $1 million a year in profits,” McGregor police Lt. Joe Coy said. “We don’t know if they were using it all up or giving it away, but we know that there was a tremendous amount of equipment and production that was going on.”
Some of the distribution in Waco has been linked to Baylor University students, Coy said.
“We know that marijuana was being funneled to several colleges, Baylor being one of those. They were distributing in areas with a high retail value, like the (University of Texas) area.”
The Yuba County Narcotics Task Force worked with McGregor investigators to acquire search warrants for residences and storage units owned by two of the Koss sons in California. The raids took place Monday as soon as the warrants were obtained.
“It ran all day and didn’t finish until dark,” said Coy, who was there.
Agents seized 150 pounds of high-grade marijuana, 1 pound of marijuana buds, business records and a .40-caliber pistol from a 20-acre ranch owned by Larry Phillip Koss’ son Chad Koss. In another residence listed in Connor Koss’s name, police found 30 pounds of high-grade marijuana buds and 50 pounds of processed marijuana. In the second seizure, police also found equipment that was used to convert processed marijuana into hashish.
Agents seized three weapons, a small safe that contained $2,000 and several gold and silver coins from two storage units in Yuba City.
Chad Koss has not been arrested, and Coy declined to discuss him.
California agents still are working with the McGregor Police Department to seize the 20-acre ranch. Agents estimate the property is worth $390,000 and the seized marijuana is worth $500,000, police said in a statement.
Police say they expect more seizures, arrests and charges in both states as the investigation progresses.