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March 29, 2023
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Houston Double Homicide Leads Detectives to Local Black-Market Marijuana Bust (Photo)
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Houston Double Homicide Leads Detectives to Local Black-Market Marijuana Bust (Photo)

IMET Case 23-2623

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RURAL JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – A January 27 double homicide in Houston, Texas led Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives to a house outside Jacksonville, Ore. IMET Detectives and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies served a search warrant last Wednesday at a property in the 1400 block of Wagon Trail Drive in rural Jacksonville.

On scene, IMET detectives found an unlicensed greenhouse and indoor grow containing approximately 572 black-market marijuana plants. Inside the residence, detectives located approximately 275 lbs. of processed illegal cannabis, two firearms, and $7,600 cash. There was no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling, or processing at this location. IMET detectives arrested a man connected to the marijuana grow, Baron Erik Munchausen, 36, originally from Houston. He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail.

The black-market marijuana growing and processing operation was uncovered during a Houston Police Department double homicide investigation where two men were found shot to death. The deceased were, Dana Lars Ryssdal, 35, from Oregon, and James Gerald Martin III, 37, who was the rural Jacksonville property owner, although originally from Houston. While investigating the homicide, Houston police found 129 pounds of suspected marijuana, 10 pounds of hash oil, and $36,000 in cash. Martin was 50% owner of Rogue Valley Cannabis, which operates three local marijuana dispensaries. 

While regulatory agencies investigate permitted cannabis operations, IMET is focusing on the black-market marijuana trade in the Rogue Valley. IMET is a multi-agency task force funded by a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The task force includes personnel from JCSO, Medford Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Jackson County Code Enforcement, Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s office. 

Investigations are open and ongoing with detectives working additional leads. No further information is currently available for release.


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