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Siskiyou County declares local state of emergency because of illegal marijuana

SCSO performed 10 raids Friday, seizing more than 2,500 illegal marijuana plants.

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 6:46 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2019 7:35 PM

HORNBROOK, Ore. -- It was a long Friday for Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office. Deputies performed 10 different drug raids all before 1 p.m.

NewsWatch12 rode along with deputies. Crews seized over 2,500 illegal marijuana plants during raids, filling two trucks to the rim with marijuana.

Siskiyou County Sheriff, Jon Lopey, said, "In Siskiyou County, we've declared a local state of emergency because of the marijuana problem."

Friday's objective: serve search warrants, seize the marijuana/contraband and arrest anyone found on the property.

"So people are challenging us, they're trying to play the odds that they won't get caught," Lopey said.

But lopey has one message: SCSO won't tolerate it.

"It's legal for medicinal and recreational purposes, but you still have to follow the law and these people aren't following the law," he explained.

Siskiyou County does not allow any outdoor cultivation of marijuana at all. Lopey said people are only allowed 12 plants indoors for medical marijuana or six for recreational.

"These people far exceed that, they're breaking the law and basically they're drug traffickers."

Officials are estimating there are more than 1,500 illegal grow sites throughout the Siskiyou County. Lopey said the U.S. Department of Justice declared the ocounty a high drug-trafficking area.

"Intelligence is telling us that most of this marijuana is being transported out of state to be sold in other states and other communities. So we're taking it very seriously," Lopey said.

More than 20 different officials assisted with Friday's raids, even a code enforcement officer was on site.

Lopey said, "A lot of the sites not only do they have illegal marijuana, but there are a lot of quality of life issues."

That includes water-theft, increased risk of fire danger, public safety hazards and even in some cases, animal cruelty.

Friday deputies found a puppy, left alone in direct sunlight with no food or water. That puppy is now up for adoption, deputies took it to Siskiyou County Animal Control. Lopey said they're hoping to find the pup a safe and happy place to call home, but the puppy is part of a much bigger problem.

"I haven't seen the illicit drug use and addicition this bad since I first got into law enforcement in the 70's."

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