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C.O. forest visitors warned: Beware of pot grows


For the past several years, Central Oregon has been identified by drug trafficking organizations as an ideal location for outdoor marijuana grows, both on public and private lands adjacent to public lands.

“This is becoming an increased concern for the safety of citizens who are recreating in those areas due to the possibility of a confrontation between the public and members of the drug trafficking organizations that are tending to the marijuana gardens,” Lt. Ken Mannix of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team said in a yearly reminder, issued Wednesday.

“The majority of grow operations CODE has investigated over the years has had some evidence that the people working these grows are armed with firearms,” Mannix warned. “These gardens represent a large financial asset to the drug trafficking organizations and they will take extreme measures to protect those assets.”

Mannix said the CODE Team “believes the drug trafficking organizations involved in the illegal growing of outdoor marijuana have started their plantations. CODE believes that these organizations are setting up their camps and taking supplies into their growing areas now.

“If you plan to be in public lands this spring and summer, CODE would like to educate everyone as to certain things to be aware of.

“These items would include large amounts of plastic irrigation pipe, large quantities of fertilizer in bags, propane tanks and anything else that looks out of place in the outdoors may be good indicators.

“If you see any suspicious activity while out in the woods and can get a license plate or GPS coordinates, please pass that information along to the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team at 541-312-6414, during business hours, or call your local law enforcement agency.”

“As always, your safety is of the utmost importance,” Mannix added. “Do not place yourself in a dangerous situation in an attempt to gather information for law enforcement. Get as much information as possible without jeopardizing your safety and leave the area immediately.”

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