BROOKINGS, Ore. — The Curry County Sheriff's Office on Friday raided a large illegal marijuana grow near Brookings, making six arrests and recovering "just over fifteen million dollars" in cannabis plants, according to the agency.
The Sheriff's Office said that it has been investigating a property on Peavine Road off the Winchuck River Road for several months, suspecting that it was the site of an illegal marijuana grow. Around 8 a.m. on Friday, a deputy near the property "confronted two Hispanic males" carrying bundles of marijuana.
Deputies detained the two men, and soon detained four more men in connection with the alleged illegal grow.
"Deputies learned there were possibly more subjects in the area with guns," the Sheriff's Office said. "With evidence obtained over a period of time which started with complaints from concerned citizens, a search warrant was requested through the Curry County Circuit Court. The search warrant was authorized to enter the property to further investigate and deal with the illegal marijuana grow."
Before 2:30 p.m., law enforcement officers entered the property and started a search. Deputies found nine structures throughout the steep, wooded property that were full of mature marijuana plants, as well as makeshift shelters that workers were using to sleep on the premises.
CCSO said that it found a large amount of chemicals and other items "that would damage the land and nearby water system."
Due to the sheer number of plants, CCSO called in the county Search & Rescue team to assist with the removal and destruction process. All of the plants were eventually cut down to be hauled away and destroyed, the Sheriff's Office said. With the sun going down, the agency called in reserve deputies to provide security overnight.
On Saturday, officers returned to the property to gather up the plants and get more photo evidence. The Sheriff's Office estimated that the street value of these plants, if processed, would be a little more than $15 million.
The six men detained near the property were arrested and taken to the Curry County Jail on charges for Manufacture of a Controlled Substance. CCSO said that the cases will be forwarded to the District Attorney's office for prosecution, though the investigation is still ongoing.