Anonymous complaints about smell, questioning legality led to raid; DCSO says legal marijuana operations help combat illegal grows
ALFALFA, Ore. (KTVZ) – Anonymous complaints and questions about the odor and legality of a marijuana grow operation in Alfalfa, east of Bend, led to a raid on the property Thursday, the seizure of hundreds of plants and the property owner's arrest on several drug charges.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office marijuana enforcement detectives, assisted by the agency’s street crimes detectives, SWAT team and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, served a search warrant Thursday morning on a property in the 25000 block of Cultus Lane, Lt. William Bailey said.
The 45-year-old man who owns the property was arrested on charges of illegal marijuana manufacture, possession and delivery, unlawful manufacture of extract and cocaine and two counts of felon in possession of a firearm, deputies said.
Law enforcement seized 439 illegal marijuana plants, 505 pounds of illegal processed marijuana, a butane hash oil (BHO) lab, two handguns and more than $11,000 in cash, Bailey said.
"The Marijuana Enforcement Detectives (MED’s) would like to thank the legal marijuana businesses within Deschutes County for their collaborative efforts in combating illegal marijuana operations," Bailey wrote in a news release.
"The knowledge the MEDs received from focus groups confirms that illegal marijuana within Deschutes County is a major concern for the legal marijuana market, residents, and businesses in our community.
"MEDs take illegal grow operations seriously due to the unregulated amounts of pesticides, fungicides and chemical solvents that can be used to manufacture marijuana products," Bailey continued. "In addition, MEDs have discovered illegal marijuana grows that contained mold, spider mites and toxic/harmful chemicals that are unsafe for human consumption.
"The MED’s receive funding to support their positions from taxes that are collected from the recreational marijuana market. Marijuana tax can be used for schools, drug treatment centers, public health, and law enforcement. The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners approved the funding for the Marijuana Enforcement Detective positions.
"Since July 2018, MEDs have been in operation and have encountered multiple unknown subjects and 46 firearms while serving marijuana search warrants," Bailey added. "The MEDs would like to recognize the DCSO SWAT team for their specialized skills and commitment for the safety to the suspects, area residences and law enforcement officers in these operations."