An Asian man involved in the murder of four people at an Oklahoma marijuana farm was arrested in South Florida on Tuesday afternoon, police announced.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said in a statement on its Facebook page that Wu Chen was arrested without incident by Miami Beach police just before 4 p.m. local time and taken to the Miami-Dade County Detention Center. were taken.
The arrest “came after a license plate reader detected the vehicle he was driving,” it added. The suspect is charged with murder and using a firearm to kill and faces extradition to Oklahoma.
OSBI also released a photo, provided by federal marshals, of a man sitting shoeless with his hands tied behind his back.
Authorities said the victims — three men and a woman, all Chinese nationals — were “killed” on a 10-acre property west of Hennessey, about 56 miles (90 km) northwest of Oklahoma City. A fifth victim, a Chinese national, was also injured and taken to an Oklahoma City hospital.
Police said the victims have not yet been publicly identified and their families have not been informed of what happened “because of the strong language barrier”.
Authorities previously said they had located a suspect and would not release his name at this time to avoid endangering others.
“The suspect was in a building at the site for quite some time before the execution began,” the OSBI said in a statement an hour earlier on Tuesday. “Based on the investigation conducted to date, what happened does not appear to be a chance incident.”
OSBI Captain Stan Florence said earlier in the day that police believed the suspect knew the victims, who were found dead on Sunday night.
“Everyone knew each other,” Florence said. “I don’t know if they are related or were colleagues, but we almost certainly believe that all of these people knew each other.”
Florence said the Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Office was the first to send deputies to the site after receiving information about a hostage situation at the ranch and requesting help from state police.
“There is a lot to explain in this case,” he added. “It will take us a while to process it.”
“The case is being investigated as a quadruple homicide. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Hazardous Substances Control also launched an investigation.
In recent years, the agency has focused on combating the illegal cultivation and trade of marijuana destined for the black market. But agency spokesman Mark Woodward said Tuesday it was too early to say whether that was the focus of the current investigation.