A mother and son from La Pine were arrested Wednesday, charged with the illegal manufacture, delivery and possession of marijuana.
Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team said its officers along with detectives from the Deschutes County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement (DCIME) team arrested Carol Ann Stam, 67, and her son, Darle Thomas Stam, 26.
The case started with community tips that the Stams were running a large-scale marijuana grow operation, CODE said. Detectives and drug agents began investigating both physically and through electronic surveillance.
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DCIME discovered the Stams built unpermitted structures and converted others into indoor marijuana grow facilities, CODE said.
Detectives from both teams and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes unit issued a search warrant Wednesday morning at a home in the 52500 block of Day Road. CODE said 160 pounds of processed marijuana flower, 474 marijuana plants in various stages of growth and two firearms were seized. The estimated street value of the black-market processed marijuana flower is $160,000, CODE said.
As with many other grow op busts that happen in Central Oregon, CODE noted that this was in a residential area and that many of the area’s residents depend on ground or well water for their own use. CODE said it’s often the case that marijuana grows divert or steal water from nearby homes and farms or from pumps connected to underground water sources.