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Deschutes County

More details out after DCSO raids on 3 alleged illegal marijuana grow operations

Marijuana grows bust DCSO 527-1
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office
Hundreds of marijuana plants were seized Wednesday in raids on alleged illegal grow operations around Deschutes County
Marijuana grows bust DCSO 527-2
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office
Hundreds of marijuana plants were seized in raids on alleged illegal grow operations

(Update: Sheriff's office provides details, photos, says arrests expected)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Charges and arrests are expected in the near future after neighbor complaints prompted a series of three raids on allegedly illegal marijuana grow operations around Deschutes County, sheriff’s deputies said Thursday as they revealed more details of the operations.

Sheriff’s office Marijuana Enforcement Detectives, assisted by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team and sheriff’s office SWAT Team, served three search warrants Wednesday morning in relation to the ongoing criminal investigation, which is continuing Sgt. William Bailey said.

The investigation began after detectives received complaints from neighbors about the odor, the validity of the grow operations and more, unfamiliar traffic in their neighborhoods.

The first raid took place at a property in the 51200 block of Festis Avenue, west of La Pine, Bailey said. At that location, 132 illegal marijuana plants and more than 31 pounds of illegal processed marijuana were seized, Bailey said.

Detectives also found apparently unpermitted structures and electrical work being used to support the grow operation. Bailey noted the electric work presented a possible fire hazard, threatening nearby public lands and the safety of homes and families in the area.

One neighbor in La Pine who lives near Festis Avenue told NewsChannel 21 many neighbors had complained and were aware of the marijuana operation in the area.

"There are many neighbors who wanted this cracked down for a long time," Robert Lite said. "Almost next door, there's a family over there with children. What I was told is that those folks have complained about the marijuana growers for a very long time. They’ve complained that they have children there and it smelled awful.”

Over the past two years, there have been at least four illegal marijuana grows raided in the La Pine area, Bailey said.

The second search warrant was served at a home in the 18600 block of Riverwoods Drive, in Deschutes River Woods, south of Bend, Bailey said. A felony amount of butane hash, or honey oil (BHO) and a firearm were seized at the location.

The third raid was conducted at a property in the 65100 block of North Highway 97, between Bend and Redmond, where nearly 750 allegedly illegal marijuana plants were seized.

Bailey said the marijuana enforcement detectives (MEDs) “would like to thank the legal marijuana businesses within Deschutes County for their collaborative efforts in combating illegal marijuana within the county.”

“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,” he said in a news release.

“The MEDs receive funding to support their positions from taxes that are collected from the recreational marijuana market,” the sergeant continued. “Marijuana tax (revenues) 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 the detectives began their operations in July 2018, Bailey said, “they have encountered multiple unknown subjects and 43 firearms while serving marijuana search warrants. The MEDs would like to thank 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.”

Bend / Central Oregon / Crime And Courts / La Pine / News / Top Stories
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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.

Comments

24 Comments

  1. About time these criminals get what they deserve! These criminals need to be dealt with harshly without mercy! They taint the work of those who fought long and hard to legalize the opportunity to grow personal use plants at home!

    They are no different than a poacher or an unlicensed scumbag offering to roof your home or pave your driveway.

    1. you must be so pleased with yourself – you do understand that the rules, all the rules, get to be made by the people with the most money, don’t you?

    2. Yes, the 30+ dispendaries and their hundreds of employees in Deschutes county are selling next to nothing and paying almost no taxes. This total lack of business is forcing more of them to open up monthly. The black market is booming and homicide is on the ride because of it!!! I suggest hydroxychloroquine becuase as big fat lyin donnie says “it will be the biggest game changer in the history of medicine” ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Golf and a whore anyone!!!! trump / kim 2020!!! TRUE LOVE!!!!

      1. unclefesterd trolling from mamas basement again. Please have mommy check your spelling before allowing you to post. Have another hit of your favorite delusional chemical and mellow out.

    3. You are a very limited thinker. It is illegal in other states brain child and they have this thing called the automobile. In fact, ID just a few hours east is one of Oregon’s largest purchasers of legal cannabis now that we have dispensaries on the eastern boarder. Wonder how much illegal stuff is being sold their because it’s state still lists it as illegal? Hmmm. Legalize it and tax it. It works here, but the number of grows won’t go away completely until it’s done in all the states. Pretty simple really

  2. If it is an illegal operation – arrest them. I will agree that even a legally grown plant will at times smell like a skunk. However to complain just because “I have kids next door” is not a valid complaint. As a parent it is up to me to keep track of where my kids are as well as it is up to you to keep track of yours. Use the same efforts to keep them away from the dreaded grow as you would to keep them from playing in the freeway. It is not up to everyone else to take care of our own kids.

    1. But it was an illegal operation. These folks are acting responsibly, not muckraking on a troll board blithering about parenting skills that seem to be lost…

      1. I ask a lot about things, but the headlines are the same ones I saw yesterday…..They stormed the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis and set it on fire. An activist group declared total control over the building, and the police actually fled their own gear, and I can’t find anything about it.
        The other day. Stories were mixed up and all over the place on here, but it straightened itself out when I clicked out and back a while later

        1. I was up late last night as always and the CNN wire was not providing the story I wanted to put about the violence in Minneapolis. As soon as I was up today and found a current piece it was atop top stories, but there WERE stories in the system. At least I didn’t have to literally cut and past it from CNN Newsource as I’ve had to do on some top news. It’s all technical issues and we’re still tackling them. However, before you ask: Would I let you or anyone say what the president tweeted last night about “When the looting starts, the shooting starts?” Probably not. We could argue all day about whether that fits our Terms of Service violation of “threatening or promoting violence,” but it’s a disturbing situation to be in for someone who likes consistent judgments but knows how challenging that is these days.

          1. I was just wondering. Sometimes the site is jacked and I will see the same story 4 times in a row, and some days a story once, never to be seen again. I know you’re a busy guy

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