Dozens detained in raid on 'filthy, cramped' marijuana grow near Central Point

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said that officers seized almost 7,400 marijuana plants, 1,800 pounds of processed marijuana, vials of extract, cocaine, guns, ammo, and cash.

Posted: Jul 26, 2021 3:13 PM
Updated: Jul 26, 2021 5:30 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says that it found migrant workers living in "uninhabitable" conditions on a black market marijuana farm raided by law enforcement near Central Point last week.

Around 7 a.m. last Thursday, officers from JCSO, Medford Police, the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET), Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE), U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Marshals descended on an alleged black market marijuana grow in the 2000-block of Vilas Road near Central Point. JCSO said that the operation had no permits to grow or process marijuana.

During the raid, investigators said that they found three AR-style rifles, an AK-47, and a 9mm handgun with a high-capacity drum magazine. One of the rifles had been reported stolen out of Los Angeles.

Investigators also found and seized almost 7,400 marijuana plants spread between 35 non-permitted greenhouses, more than 1,800 pounds of processed marijuana, 71 vials of cannabis extract, 10.5 grams of cocaine, the aforementioned guns, large amounts of ammunition, and more than $9,000 in cash.

JCSO said that 35 people were detained and interviewed during the investigation.

"Living conditions for migrant workers at the grow site were uninhabitable," the agency said. "Living and working areas were filthy, cramped, and otherwise unsafe with many sleeping on cardboard inside shipping containers with little or no access to bathing and bathroom facilities."

State and local officials identified a number of electrical and building code violations, and Oregon OSHA brought in two inspectors to catalogue violations and administer sanctions.

The investigation into the grow site is still ongoing, JCSO said.

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