Task Force Busts Three Black-Market Cannabis Grows Owned by Same California Man; Code Enforcement Fines Nearly $300,000 (Photo)
IMET Cases 23-10106, 23-10107
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives busted three black-market cannabis grows this month all owned by the same person. These three properties are owned by a California resident who has purchased several local properties leased to black-market cannabis growing operations. Jackson County Code Enforcement fined the property owner a total of $281,471 for numerous violations. Investigators seized nearly 7,500 illegal marijuana plants from the three properties. There was no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling, or processing at any of the locations.
Early this morning, IMET detectives and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies served a search warrant in the 2500 block of Sykes Creek Road in rural Rogue River. On scene, detectives discovered approximately 863 black-market cannabis plants, 41 pounds of processed marijuana, and 4.7 pounds of THC infused candy. One subject was detained during the search warrant.
Code Enforcement issued citations to the landowner totaling $9,000 for violations including failure to obtain land use approval for marijuana production, failure to obtain land use review for greenhouse structures, extensive unpermitted electrical installations, and solid waste.
On Thursday, July 6th, IMET detectives along with Oregon State Police (OSP) Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Team and JCSO deputies busted another property owned by the same man in the 9200 block of Butte Falls Highway in rural Eagle Point. On the property, IMET detectives discovered 10 hoop houses with approximately 3,704 illegal cannabis plants. Four subjects were detained on the property, and are awaiting charges from the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.
Code Enforcement responded to the scene to conduct an independent investigation. Code Enforcement issued citations to the landowner totaling $256,860 for violations including failure to obtain land use approval for marijuana production, failure to obtain land use review for greenhouse structures, extensive and unsafe unpermitted electrical installations including those used to power water distribution devices, unauthorized use of a camping vehicles within a marijuana grow site, and solid waste.
Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the responsible party for the appropriation of surface water from Quartz Creek. The violation was for irrigation and storage at an illegal commercial operation. Water violations of this kind are subject to both civil and criminal penalties.
The next search warrant was later in the same day on Thursday, July 6th, in the 9000 block of West Evans Creek Road in rural Rogue River. On the property, IMET detectives located five greenhouses containing 2,880 illegal marijuana plants. There were six subjects on scene when the warrant was served. Detectives are conducting further investigations to charge the subjects involved.
Code Enforcement issued citations to the landowner totaling $12,000 for violations including failure to obtain land use approval for marijuana production, failure to obtain land use review for greenhouse structures, unpermitted electrical installations, unauthorized use of a camping vehicles within a marijuana grow site, unpermitted dwellings, unauthorized use of storage structures for dwelling purposes, and solid waste.
Watermasters have an open case at the West Evans Creek Road property. Due to the repeat violation at this location, the responsible party was issued a fine of $650 for each day of confirmed water use. The violation is valid for three years so any day water use is observed the responsible party will receive a $650 fine.
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, 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.