MALIN, Ore. — Detectives from the Oregon State Police raided a large illegal marijuana grow in southern Klamath County early this week, eventually seizing more than 22,000 plants and uncovering evidence of water theft, according to the agency.
OSP said that "information was developed" about the suspected grow operation on an 150-acre property on Harpold Road near Malin. During a search, detectives from the agency reported finding more than 85 greenhouses — each 30-foot by 100-foot structures, and each full of marijuana plants.
An investigation of the grow confirmed that there was no permit to legally grow hemp or marijuana on the property. OSP also concluded that the grow may have relied on stolen water and "unlawful use of groundwater."
"Marijuana is a very water-intensive plant and since illegal grows don’t receive water permits, these grows deplete water at even more wasteful rates with no regard for sustainability," the agency said in a statement.
By the end of the search, detectives had identified and seized more than 22,000 plants. Initial tests confirmed that the plants were marijuana and not hemp, OSP said.
Detectives interviewed multiple people and seized other evidence from the property. While the investigation is still ongoing, OSP said that a list of charges against the property owners will be referred to the Klamath County District Attorney's Office, including Unlawful Possession of Marijuana/Hemp, Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana, and Unlawful Use or Appropriation of Ground Water.
Beyond detectives from OSP's Klamath Falls Area Command, other agencies involved in the investigation were the Oregon State Police Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Section, Basin Interagency Narcotics Team, Klamath County Community Corrections, the Klamath Falls Police Department, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oregon Water Resources Department.