GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Deputies from the Josephine County Sheriff's Office arrested a Grants Pass-based realtor on Tuesday in connection with the black market marijuana trade that has rapidly expanded in southern Oregon within the last several years.
According to Sheriff Dave Daniel, his agency had been investigating a broker employed with RE/MAX in Grants Pass who had allegedly conducted more than two dozen transactions related to property used for illegal marijuana operations.
File photo of marijuana seized during the raid of a black market processing operation.
Sheriff Daniel said that, over the space of several years, the realtor had transferred ownership of properties from individuals to LLCs in order to cover illegal activity. Detectives are also looking into potential money laundering.
Investigators served search warrants on Tuesday at a residence in Rogue River and the brokerage office in Grants Pass.
41-year-old Tyra Polly Ann Foxx was booked into the Josephine County Jail on Tuesday on charges for Unlawful Manufacture of a Marijuana Item, Hindering Prosecution, Tampering With Physical Evidence, and Forgery in the First Degree. She posted bail later the same day.
Foxx has yet to be arraigned or indicted in court.
As both Josephine and Jackson counties work to crack down on illegal marijuana grow operations, they differ somewhat on how they approach the issue. Jackson County recently asked Governor Brown to bring in the National Guard. But Sheriff Daniel said that he does not think that is the answer.
Daniel says, for one, he doesn't think Governor Brown would active the National Guard for this purpose. Meanwhile, recent state assistance and the prospect of federal aid could help Josephine County address the situation on their own terms. Daniel said that the recent passage of House Bill 3000 will support the county's efforts by doubling the size of the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET).
"I was on a Zoom call yesterday with Congressman Cliff Bentz who is going to be speaking with the Attorney General," Daniel said. "I asked for assistance in the form of investigative support, I asked for the DEA to become more involved — as of right now they have not been — I have asked for the IRS assistance in investigations to be more active into money laundering, into where it's going and how it's getting there."
According to Sheriff Daniel, the problem is not a local one so much as an international one.
"We have cartel-type operations from Bulgaria, China, Ukraine, Mexico ... all different countries," Daniel said. "And so it's an international problem, so I think on the federal level is really where some assistance would be very much welcomed."