Detectives find plants, processed product, extract, cash, guns - and black mold
(Update: adding video, comments from DCSO, neighbors)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Three Bend and Redmond residents were arrested on drug charges during raids on an illegal marijuana grow operation at three homes and a storage unit around Deschutes County that turned up hundreds of plants, processed marijuana and extract, $127,000 in cash, several guns and black mold at one location, authorities said Thursday.
Sheriff’s office marijuana enforcement detectives, working with the county’s Marijuana Enforcement Team, Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team and the sheriff’s office SWAT team, served search warrants Wednesday at four locations, Sgt. William Bailey said.
"Our detectives, in partnership with the drug team and the SWAT Team, did have an impact on an illegal marijuana grow in Deschutes County that was ultimately and very likely sending marijuana into a black market or other illegal distribution situation," Bailey told NewsChannel 21 Thursday.
The first warrant was executed at a home and property on Zagt Lane, south of Sunriver, that was the focus of a long-term investigation, Bailey said.
Detectives seized more than 350 marijuana plants “in various stages of growth to support a steady supply of usable marijuana,” Bailey said, along with about 16 pounds of processed marijuana.
“Detectives also encountered unsanitary conditions where the marijuana was being produced, to include suspected black mold, which reinforces the health concerns associated with illegal marijuana grows,” the sergeant said in a news release.
A second raid occurred at a home and property on Bozeman Trail, east of Bend, where detectives seized about 200 pounds of processed marijuana, 17 pounds of marijuana extract, about $127,000 in cash and several firearms, Bailey said.
Later Wednesday, based on new information, search warrants were served at a home on Northwest 15th Street in Redmond and a storage unit in northwest Redmond in connection with the investigation. "Nothing significant" was seized at those subsequent locations.
Joshua Leo Lippincott, 42, of Bend, and Amber Marie Kirkendall, 40, both of Bend, were arrested and lodged at the county jail in Bend on illegal marijuana and marijuana extract possession, manufacture and distribution charges. Ryder Bye, 44, of Redmond, also is charged with illegal marijuana possession, manufacture and distribution. All three were released later on their own recognizance, a jail officer said.
Neighbors who live near the raided property on Bozeman Trail told NewsChannel 21 Thursday Lippincott and Kirkendall were constantly in and out of the house and always kept to themselves.