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September 22, 2023
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Local, State, Federal Law Enforcement Identifies Local Illegal Growing Organization, Busts Two Black-Market Cannabis Grows Simultaneously in Two Counties, Seize 6,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants (Photo)
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Local, State, Federal Law Enforcement Identifies Local Illegal Growing Organization, Busts Two Black-Market Cannabis Grows Simultaneously in Two Counties, Seize 6,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants (Photo)

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Note: Photos from Jackson County bust.


IMET Case 23-10109


GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Local, state, and federal law enforcement busted two black-market cannabis grows simultaneously yesterday morning on rural tax lots located in Jackson and Josephine counties. The combined bust netted more than 6,000 illegal marijuana plants located in 13 greenhouses. Yesterday’s search warrant is part of an ongoing joint investigation by Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Law Enforcement Rangers, and Oregon State Police (OSP) Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Team that identified an extensive local illegal growing organization. These two properties are connected to multiple illegal marijuana busts in August of 2022 including one in East Medford that contained nearly 20,000 plants and illegally used more than a million gallons of water, and another in rural Jacksonville that caused more than $1,000,000 in environmental damage to public land.


IMET detectives along with BLM Law Enforcement Rangers and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies busted the Jackson County grow on a tax lot near the 900 block of Savage Creek Road in rural Grants Pass. On the property, IMET detectives discovered five greenhouses with approximately 2,425 illegal cannabis plants. OSP busted the grow on the Josephine County side near the 900 block of Savage Creek Road. On the property, OSP located eight greenhouses containing 3,611 illegal marijuana plants. There was no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling, or processing at either location. There was no one on scene when the warrants were served. Detectives are conducting further investigations to identify and charge the subjects involved. 



Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters and Jackson County Code Enforcement responded to the scene of the Jackson County grow to conduct independent investigations. Watermasters will issue a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the responsible parties for the illegal appropriation of ground and surface water for irrigation and storage.  Water violations of this kind are subject to both civil and criminal penalties.  A total of three wells and one small creek was being used without the benefit of having a water right. Code Enforcement issued citations to the land owner totaling $76,250 for violations including: failure to obtain land use approval for marijuana production, failure to obtain land use review for greenhouse structures, extensive unpermitted grading, unpermitted electrical and mechanical installations, and solid waste.




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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