Metro Law Enforcement Agencies Raid Several Black-Market Cannabis Operations

The Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives served multiple search warrants this month on properties throughout Jackson County. The warrants resulted in the seizure of 15 firearms, nearly 4,000 plants, and more than 1,300 lbs. of processed black-market cannabis. At this time there is no evidence suggesting the cases are connected.

The first case was the result of a four-month long investigation into an illegal cannabis grow site. IMET detectives served a search warrant May 25 on the 900 block of Dry Creek Road in Eagle Point. Detectives seized and destroyed 839 plants and approximately 1,000 lbs. of processed marijuana at the property. Detectives also seized 15 firearms including an illegal short barreled rifle. The primary suspect was not present when the warrant was served. The suspect, Martin Quintero Cabrera, 61, is wanted for unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, unlawful possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Jackson County Code Enforcement fined the property a total of $16,000 for the five illegal greenhouses and solid waste.

The second case was the result of a one-month long investigation stemming from a citizen complaint. IMET detectives served a search warrant May 26 at the 3600 block of Beagle Road in White City. Two Mexican nationals were detained at the time of the warrant service and one fled on foot. Charges are pending review by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office. Code Enforcement issued citations totaling $47,000 on the property for violations related to 12 greenhouse structures, unpermitted electrical, unsafe dwelling, solid waste, and an occupied camp trailer. Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters issued a Notice of Water Violation (NOV) to the responsible parties for using water from a well for irrigation purposes without the benefit of a water right. Water violations of this kind are subject to both civil and criminal penalties. According to records for the local Watermasters office, neighboring landowners have been concerned about groundwater use in the area.

The last case involved a grow on the 1300 block of Upper Applegate Road in Jacksonville. IMET detectives seized and destroyed 832 black-market marijuana plants and 314 lbs. of processed cannabis. The property is part of an ongoing criminal investigation and the main suspect is still outstanding. Code Enforcement issued citations totaling $17,000 for unapproved structures, unapproved marijuana production, and solid waste. Watermasters conducted their own investigation and issued an NOV to the responsible party for using water from a well for irrigation purposes without the benefit of a water right. According to the local Watermasters, the responsible party claimed that irrigation was served by bulk water delivery and “questionable” proof of delivery had been submitted, however upon recent site visit evidence of well water use was present. Oregon Water Resources Department staff was able to collect evidence that both irrigation use and water volume exceeded an amount that is legally allowed.

While regulatory agencies investigate permitted cannabis operations, IMET is focusing on the black-market marijuana trade in the Rogue Valley. IMET is a multi-agency task force funded by a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The task force includes personnel from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. 

Investigations are open and ongoing with detectives working additional leads. No further information is currently available for release.

Courtesy of JCSO

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