MEDFORD, Ore. — A coordinated raid on a White City marijuana grow led to the seizure of more than 6,000 illegally-cultivated plants and the arrest of the suspected operator, according to the Medford Police Department (MPD).
Officers swarmed a property in the 1300-block of Antelope Road on Wednesday in the culmination of a 2-month-long investigation into "black market marijuana sales" by the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team (MADGE).
At the property, MPD said that investigators found a "large-scale indoor marijuana grow, which was not licensed or legal." Officers detained 14 people at the scene — including the suspected operator, 56-year-old Saleh Shalomi of Beverly Hills, California.
Investigators reportedly removed and destroyed just over 6,000 marijuana plants, weighing 2.75 tons
"The approximate street value is $7,800,000, which would be after the marijuana was fully processed," MPD said.
According to MPD, Shalomi was on-site at the time of the raid and was arrested without incident. He has been lodged in the Jackson County Jail for Unlawful Possession, Delivery and Manufacture of Marijuana, as well as Money Laundering. Total bail was set at $75,000.
The other people detained at the site were "identified and released."
"In addition to the illegal operation, Jackson County Code Enforcement and Fire District 3 noted several code and safety violations," MPD said.
This bust marks IMET's first outing, according to MPD. The task force is funded by a grant from the Criminal Justice Commission, "with the goal of dismantling and disrupting the black market marijuana trade." It consists of members from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.
"There is a new drug team in town, called IMET, designed to target black market marijuana. This is their first case. Great Job," MPD said in a Facebook post.