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Large illegal indoor marijuana grow raided near La Pine, 2,800 plants seized; 7 people arrested

Raid Wednesday on large indoor alleged illegal marijuana grow found over 2,800 plants in various stages of growth
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office
Raid Wednesday on large indoor alleged illegal marijuana grow found over 2,800 plants in various stages of growth

Drug detectives also found over $350,000 in cash, 14 firearms

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A lengthy investigation by Deschutes County’s Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team concluded Wednesday morning with a raid on a large-scale indoor marijuana grow southeast of La Pine, where they found and seized over 2,800 plants, $350,000 in cash and 14 guns and arrested seven people.

Detectives assisted by the sheriff’s office SWAT Team executed the search warrant around 7 a.m. on a 10-acre property in the 50000 block of state Highway 31, about 1 1/2 miles east of the Highway 97 junction, finding two commercial indoor growing facilities with 2,828 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, Sergeant Kent Vander Kamp said in a news release Thursday evening.

Along with the plants, 14 firearms, over $350,000 in U.S. currency and evidence of money-laundering schemes were found, he said.

Seven people at the site were detained by the SWAT Team and later arrested by detectives at the scene on charges of illegal delivery and manufacturing of marijuana. Five people – three from La Pine and one each from Renton and Kent, Washington – were booked into the county jail in Bend. Two other La Pine residents were cited in lieu of custody.

"The possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal for recreational use in Oregon," Vander Kamp said in a news release Wednesday evening. "However, large, unlicensed marijuana operations remain illegal. Due to these operations being unregulated, they pose dangers to the public and environment."

"Several areas in Deschutes County have been struggling with consistent groundwater sources," the sergeant continued. "Since the beginning of DCIME, investigators have found illegal marijuana grows diverted or stolen significant water from nearby homes, commercial farms, or directly from pumps connected to underground sources in the arid central Oregon High Desert.

"This particular grow site used underground well water and maintained a complex watering system that supplied several on-site (buildings and nurseries)," Vander Kamp said. "Additionally, Illegal marijuana farms often use pesticides and insecticides that threaten residential water supplies and endanger the end user."

He said DCIME detectives were assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Detective Division, Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, Oregon State Police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration with the investigation, eradication and dismantling of the site. 

Regarding the two people cited in lieu of custody, Vander Kamp explained: "Instead of a 'physical arrest,' the citation-in-lieu releases the person on the promise to appear in court at a specified date and time.

"Due to privacy laws, we are unable to specify the reason a citation-in-lieu was used in this particular case. However, citations-in-lieu of custody are often used when people are charged with certain misdemeanor or felony offenses, are too unhealthy or ill for jail, they require emergent medical or mental health care at a hospital or several other unusual circumstances.

"However, a citation-in-lieu of custody is still an 'arrest,'" Vander Kamp wrote, ”and does not discount the seriousness of the alleged crimes."



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Barney Lerten

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



        1. Somebody has to supply the perenially backward and failed states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming!!! Might as well be Oregon getting the cash!!! LOL!!!

      1. Very true !! The only reason the government is getting involved is cause they don’t get their share. Ridiculous ! Tax money well spent, once again.

        1. Actually this is removing capital from the economy not adding it, but what do you expect from DCSO who consistently publishing inaccurate info in its press releases- like their continued rabbling about the drought even though everyone knows pot uses less water than other oregon crops, not more

    1. What, you think they’re selling it here? LOL. You might be smokin’ a bit too much there captain.. slow down. FACT: It’s going to the more conservative places where it’s still illegal. People in those states will still pay top dollar for unregulated, untaxed, and flat out illegal pot- because that’s the only way folks can get it there. There’s your problem. Thanks to the illegal states that keep the black market for pot alive, we have a bunch of illegal activity here in Oregon because people are exploiting the freedoms we voted for. You can’t blame the pot for the people’s actions incentivised by a black market. That’s like blaming guns, for the actions of those behind the trigger. Question- Do we blame the alcohol for the illegal bootleg liquor? No. So stop blaming pot for stuff like this. The conservative hypocrisy is putrid excrement and we’re all tired of it. Do you need me to spell it out for you any better than that?

  1. Steal from the community, cited and released, felon in possession of a weapon, arrested twice in 2 days for stealing and a weapon ina felon, released, unregistered sec offender arrested twice in 2 days for stealing, cited and released, grow some weed, arrested and jailed. Makes sense

    1. Because assault and murder don’t cheat the government out of money. Wait a minute. The murdered don’t pay taxes, anymore, and the assaulted can be disabled from it so don’t make much in taxes for the government. I don’t think the government thought this out very well. Tax paying citizens make loads of dough for the gov, over their lifetimes.

    2. The problem with the illegal grows is that they are putting the licensed dealers out of business. The legal industry is asking for government bailouts. So much for money for schools and Measure 110, it is all going to go to prop up the legal pot shops so people can get their weed.

  2. What a joke. Sucking scarce water resources and two of them get tickets. So the cartels keep laughing and the state falls further down the toilet.

  3. From what I see, it’s the same group of people who grow hemp, legal weed, and illegal weed. Oregon has made illegal weed the most profitable because it’s not impacted by the land use costs or the punishing taxes

  4. Dispensary weed sucks. It’s all old and dry and crumbly and expensive. If they put their heart into it, it would be as good as black market weed. It’s just overproduced and rushed to the market then everyone has their hand in your pocket so they don’t make any money. It’s almost a guarantee that black market will fill that void because corporate weed can’t figure it out lol. Just grow your own like tomatoes

  5. all I know is that when Im mayor of redmond next year , everyone can grow as much pot and shrooms as they want , as far as Im concerned . of course I will always defer to my chief of police on matters such as this .

  6. According to the Bulletin, it turns out the seven people detained are ethnic Chinese. Interesting. The five that were taken to the DCJ have made bail, so they didn’t miss the $350,000 that was confiscated. A lot of money in illegal pot.

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