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3 arrested in Deschutes County illegal marijuana grow raids

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.

Central Oregon / Deschutes County / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.



  1. Its legal folks, wasting all this time and money is sad but it sure keeps the sheriff in a job gah

    Like the old saying, when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail… when all you have is the code team everything looks like a drug bust

    too bad nelson is doing nothing to stop the dozens of human trafficking cases here and is more worried about trying to “refight” the nonviolent drug war he already lost

    1. “Its legal folks”
      There are lots of “legal” products out there. Beer is legal- go ahead brew your own. Wine-whiskey-gin- knock yerself out ! Tobacco- go ahead and roll your own cubans… but the minute you start selling it- then it becomes a business- and businesses are run by certain rules and regulations.
      You see that electrical wiring job on the third photo ? You think that is “up to NFPA70e standards” ? Any idea what’s in the apparent pressurized tank ? Anyone know what might happen if it leaks ? If it’s O2- and it leaks- and the room catches fire- Kaboom !
      Not sure about the rest of your rant- it seems a bit off topic.

    2. code team hasn’t been targeting johnny got 5 plants instead of 4, they’ve been going after the big illegal ops with 100s and 1000s of plants. I haven’t even heard about a bust of under a 100 plants. while I am for its legalization, I am for the cops weeding out the bad apples who are going to ruin everything for the folks who follow the rules and/or pay their taxes. when the police are busting these illegal grows with mass #s of plants, mass amounts of product, huge stacks of cash, money counters, guns, I cheer them on. they are going after the right people

    3. Operations like this are NOT legal, Anon. Not even close to it.
      They feed the black market: cartels and gangs, and all the ugliness they stand for. Things like murder, rape and child prostitution. Slave labor and human trafficking.
      If you think the black market is non-violent you need to re-evaluate your opinion, and possibly yourself.

    4. Wow. Just “wow”.

      Pretty clear your screeds are purely personal and aimed at the Sheriff for reasons of your own.

      That said – CODE Team is inter-agency and has done superb work for years now; the legal/illegal drug business (e.g. black market opioids / pot / meth / heroin) have never been “non-violent”…ever; and the now long time addition of the DCSO SWAT Team, originally deemed necessary by an incident at the jail back in the Greg Brown days and finally implemented under Sheriff Nelson, has done great work to date and allows for a trained and available SO to support the jail, as well as the same anywhere in the county. This is especially true, as seen in at least one other high risk incident, where the other SWAT team in the county was being used elsewhere at the same time and was not available when needed.

      Just some history for you.

  2. You just have to wonder why there are still illegal pot operations out there when it’s now legal (but regulated). The cost of getting caught seems to be a lot higher than the potential profit.

    1. “why there are still illegal pot operations out there”
      Because Kate Brown has declared the state of Oregon a sanctuary state- meaning that the federal rules (not just for illegal immigration) don’t apply.
      Crooks, criminals, drug dealers- see Oregon as weak on crime.

      1. you are an idiot no matter what name you use. It is because there are still 40ish states that do not have legal, recreational marijuana access and they want it, so there is a demand. So people are growing it in every state and shipping it out east where they sell it for thousands of dollars a pound still.

        1. Hogwash ! Why don’t you go stuff some sausages Jimmy Dean ! Yer tryin’ to jabber out of two sides of your pie hole- statements in direct conflict with each other-
          “it’s because it’s not federally legal”
          OK Jimmy Dung- which is it ? It’s either legal- or it’s not. Here- lemme help ya:
          As of July 1, 2015, Oregonians are allowed to grow up to four plants on their property, possess up to eight ounces of usable marijuana in their homes and up to one ounce on their person. Recreational marijuana cannot be sold or smoked in public.
          Again- recreational marijuana cannot be sold or smoked in public. Note- Sales come from an OLCC approved distributor.
          In short- there is no reason for anyone to be growing more than 4 plants anywhere in Oregon !
          Kate Brown has illegal traffickers in marijuana thinking like you do- that Oregon is weak on dope !

            1. “not that you have anything intelligent, correct, or informative to say.”
              Yet I pulled the informational data on the laws regulating marijuana use in Oregon straight off the Oregon.Gov OLCC website.
              Whatchu got ???

                1. Yeh- Them Guvment websites- nothin’ to see there !
                  “DB” aptly named Dumb Bunny !

          1. There are two things that cause black markets: bans and taxes.

            If you truly wanted to get rid of bootlegging, you’d make pot legal _everywhere_ and tax it at low rates.

            What OR’s done has helped, for sure. But there’s more work to be done by other states and the feds to get rid of this stuff.

    2. it’s because it’s not federally legal, so the demand still exists in other states, so the supply still brings in the cash. Legalize it already, it’s just an absurd game.

      1. But Jimmy- like I just schooled ya- “it is legal”- you can have your 4 plants- your ten seeds- your ounce ! Here- all this:
        The personal possession limits are:
        · One ounce of usable marijuana on your persons in public;
        · 8 ounces of usable marijuana in your home;
        · 16 ounces of a cannabinoid product in solid form;
        · 72 ounces of a cannabinoid product in liquid form;
        · Five grams of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates, whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system;
        · Four marijuana plants; and
        · Ten marijuana seeds.
        Again- why do would anyone in Oregon need a hot house with 200 plants ? Go ahead sausage head- the floor is yours !

        1. BarneyBoy, did u not read the comment? You’re quite good at calling names, but not real good at comprehension are ya? Lol The poster is talking about OTHER states AND that marijuana is still illegal FEDERALLY silly. Supply and demand kind of stuff. Okay Professor Barn Owl, break my comment up for the readers to “comprehened” lol #weirdo

          1. how2tobeahole- Your supply and demand argument holds no H2O here in Oregon- the statewide demand is met through legalized recreational use as controlled by the OLCC.
            Anyone growing 200-300 plants to sell in other states is clearly violating our state and federal laws- and begs the question- why not take your operations to another state- closer to your customers- reduce your distribution costs.
            Answer- because these crooks are trying to blend in with the legal market- yeh- like nobody saw that coming ! These bums see Oregon as weak on drug enforcement- so let’s just set up operations here- we don’t have to worry about drug sniffing canines- hell- it’s legal here ! And oh heck- lets just throw in some meth in case our clients want an extra buzz !
            We are now seeing the collateral effects of legalized marijuana. And you dimwits that support this form of bootlegging are the ones that are gonna get the whole program boot kicked back to square one.

        2. You read about as well as you can write apparently. We’re sorry. If’s got to be difficult going through life with such a handicap. The good thing is, you’re not smart enough to know it.

        3. If I’m going to risk jail, I would rather rob a bank.

          Indoor grows are a lot of work, and like a dairy, no time off.

          Way too much work, does not pass the risk/reward analysis.

    3. I don’t think a lot of people consider the getting caught part, or worth. I got a sister, and 1 time she stole a 1000$ check from me. she spent 300$ hitting every place between anchorage and Fairbanks trying to cash it. then she held on to the check, got knocked up, waited 9 months and named the kid after me so she could cash that 1000$ check. when I brought it up to her that she could have made 20,000$ working in the time it took her to cook up a scheme and have a baby to cash a 1000$ check her reply was that 1000$ was free

  3. It’s all about money for the grower and the popo. Time to bust the gardener who grows more then four tomato plants. Ahhh, they’re not worth as much so the state don’t miss out on any tax money.

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