NEAR GRANTS PASS, Ore. — An investigation across two counties into money laundering leads to a major drug bust. During that raid, drug teams in Jackson and Josephine counties seized more than 150 pounds of marijuana and almost two dozen guns.
They said the case shows how much money drug dealers are making by selling marijuana out of state. They say it’s because the money involved literally smelled like marijuana. The Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team had been investigating a $28,000 money-laundering case, and found out the suspect was selling marijuana. Then they started to trace where the weed was coming from.
Working with the Rogue Area Drugs Enforcement team in Grants Pass, the agencies tracked the drugs to a home on Panther Gulch Road near Williams. Police seized 161 pounds of marijuana, along with small amounts of heroin, cocaine, and mushrooms. Police also found 23 firearms during the search. The MADGE director says those drugs could have brought a lot of money on the black market.
“The money that we were seizing on this was a payment for 20 pounds of marijuana. So take the 161 pounds and do the math and talk about what kind of cash we’re talking about. So the diversion from medical marijuana grows to the black market, going back east, is huge,” Lt. Brett Johnson
Police later arrested 53 year old Michael Canepa in connection with the drugs and firearms, he is currently in the Josephine County Jail. Another man was arrested in the earlier money-laundering case.