Three Bend residents have been arrested after two simultaneous busts involving an alleged cannabis extraction operation and alleged distribution of cannabis products nationwide. And it all started with a bag search at Redmond Municipal Airport.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said one of the suspects, identified as 41-year-old Paige Lyn Sidler of Bend, tried to board at commercial flight at RDM. DCSO said that TSA screeners found several packages of commercial quantity cannabis concentrate in her carry-on suitcase.
Redmond Police and the Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (DCIME) became involved in the investigation.
DCSO said it was determined that several of the packages found in Sidler’s suitcase contained commercial-type labeling from a cannabis grower later identified as Daniel Jose Aguiar, 34.
That led the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team to join the investigation.
Following surveillance of Sidler and Aguilar, CODE, DCIME, DEA Agents, DCSO Street Crime Unit, Redmond Police Detectives and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s SWAT Team raided homes at 55000 block of Lazy River Drive and the 61400 block of Linton Loop in Bend Wednesday morning, DCSO said.
At the Lazy River home, DCSO said 60 pounds of processed marijuana flower, 101 marijuana plants, one firearm and a large amount of cash was seized. A cannabis lab was also dismantled and seized.
DCSO also said Aguiar’s current cannabis harvest was infected by one or more viruses or viroid pathogens.
“Although these viruses generally impact the plant’s potency and yield, the danger to humans come from the pesticides used to treat the virus being applied to the plant and transferred to the final product,” DCSO said.
Dangerous electrical wiring, non-permitted electrical panels and other safety issues, DCSO said. Several building code violations were cited and will be forwarded to the property owners who live out-of-state.
At the Linton Loop location, DCSO said law enforcement found various processed marijuana products, evidence of an exportation operation, three firearms and a large amont of money.
Sidler and her boyfriend, Mark Arie Mehrhof, 44, were detained. DCSO said Mehrnof was determined to be a co-conspirator.
All three face multiple drug charges