The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday shut down three illegal marijuana operations stretching from La Pine to north of Bend.
Sgt. William Bailey said Marijuana Enforcement Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE) and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team served three search warrants in relation to an ongoing investigation into illegal pot grows.
The investigation started after detectives received complaints from neighbors about the odor, validity of the grow operations, and unfamiliar/increased traffic in their neighborhood.
Bailey said the first search warrant was served at a property in the 51200 block of Festis Avenue, west of La Pine where investigators found 132 illegal marijuana plants and over 31 pounds of illegal processed marijuana at the site.
Detectives also found what appeared to be unpermitted structures and electrical work at the location that was being used to support the illegal grow operation.
This unpermitted electrical work presented a potential fire hazard, which threatened nearby public lands and the safety of homes and families in the area, Bailey said.
A second search warrant was served at a residence in the 18600 block of Riverwoods Drive, south of Bend. A felony amount of BHO, or butane hash oil, and a firearm were seized there, Bailey said.
A third search warrant was served at a property in the 65100 block of N. Highway 97, between Bend and Redmond where 744 illegal marijuana plants were seized.
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 within the county.
“The knowledge the MED’s 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,” Bailey said.
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.
Since July 2018, MED’s have been in operation and have encountered multiple unknown subjects and 43 firearms while serving marijuana search warrants.
Bailey said the investigation continues and he expects some arrests to be made in the near future.