Task Force Raid on Black-Market Marijuana Grow finds Illegal Weed, Guns, Unsafe Living Conditions (Photo)
JCSO Case #21-3832
CENTRAL POINT, Ore – A task force raid on a black-market marijuana grow near Central Point uncovered illegal marijuana, guns, and unsafe living conditions. Authorities from multiple federal, state and local agencies discovered nearly 7,400 marijuana plants in 35 non-permitted greenhouses, more than 1,800 lbs. of processed marijuana, 71 vials of marijuana extract, 10 ½ grams of cocaine, six guns, a large amount of ammunition, and more than $9 thousand cash. During the investigation 35 people were detained and interviewed.
At around 7 a.m. Thursday, July 22nd, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Medford Police Department (MPD), and the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET), along with Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE), US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and US Marshals served a warrant at a black-market marijuana grow on the 2000 block of Vilas Rd. near Central Point. The property did not have any permits to grow or process marijuana for recreational, commercial, or medical purposes.
Various firearms were seized from the site including three AR-style rifles, an AK-47, and a 9mm handgun with a high-capacity drum magazine. One of the rifles was reported stolen out of Los Angeles, Calif.
Living conditions for migrant workers at the grow site were uninhabitable. Living and working areas were filthy, cramped, and otherwise unsafe with many sleeping on cardboard inside shipping containers with little or no access to bathing and bathroom facilities. Multiple electrical and building code violations were also discovered. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was summoned, sending two inspectors with sanctions forthcoming.
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, MPD, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available for release.