Suspects charged in pot slaying: Investigators believe the shooting deaths in Everett are tied to B.C.’s marijuana trade

EVERETT — Prosecutors say a Tacoma man burped, passed gas and laughed as detectives questioned him about his alleged involvement in the shooting deaths of two people inside a south Everett house that hid a marijuana-growing operation.

Areewa Saray, 20, allegedly told investigators he didn’t know anything about the July 2 slayings and complained that the detectives talked too much and were “making his head spin,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Matthew Baldock wrote in charging papers.

Saray and Saroeun Phai, 24, were charged Friday with two counts of aggravated murder in the shooting deaths of Linda Nguyen, 21, and her boyfriend Kevin Meas, 24. Phai allegedly told investigators he and Saray went to the house to steal money, according to charging papers.

Investigators believe Nguyen was shot as she opened the door for the defendants. Meas was found in the basement.

The double killing in Everett is the first solid proof that violence associated with the Canadian pot trade has arrived in Washington, drug experts said. The same organized criminals responsible for Canada’s multibillion-dollar “B.C. Bud” marijuana industry appear to be moving into the area, according to Dave Rodriguez, director of the federally funded Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program in Seattle.

Prosecutors believe Nguyen and Meas were paid to tend an elaborate marijuana growing operation at a house in the 600 block of Dexter Avenue. Investigators found about 800 marijuana plants, lights, fans, filters and an irrigation system inside the house. They also discovered another 400 plants growing in a nearby house in the 200 block of E. Beech Street. Linda Nguyen’s brothers lived there.

The slain woman’s brothers have pleaded guilty in federal court to growing dope. Two other people, the owners of the house on E. Beech Street, also face federal drug charges. They’re scheduled to go to trial early next year.

The Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force continues to investigate the indoor pot farms and expects to make additional arrests.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or

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