Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives including Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies and Medford Police Department (MPD) officers served a search warrant on a marijuana grow site on the 4100 block of Corey Road in Central Point early yesterday morning.
An armed suspect attempted to flee the scene but was quickly detained hiding at a nearby property on the 3400 block of Randall Avenue. The suspect was armed with a pistol and has been charged with interfering with a peace officer, resisting arrest, second-degree criminal trespass, unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful carrying or concealing of a firearm, and unlawful manufacture of marijuana. The suspect was lodged in the Jackson County Jail.
The property contained approximately 2,748 illegal cannabis plants in seven greenhouses, as well as approximately 1000 lbs. of processed black-market marijuana, and seven firearms. One of the seized rifles was a “ghost gun” which means it has no serial number. These guns are often made at home with parts purchased separately and then assembled, making it difficult to trace. One of the handguns was reported stolen out of Florida. On the property eight subjects were detained, interviewed, and released. The illegal cannabis was seized and destroyed on site. Detectives identified additional suspects and investigations are ongoing.
This case was the result of a months-long investigation of an illegal/black market marijuana growing operation. There was no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling, or processing at this location. Jackson County Code Enforcement responded to the scene to conduct an independent investigation. Code Enforcement issued citations totaling $18,000 for unapproved marijuana production, unapproved greenhouses, solid waste, and riparian corridor destruction.
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 JCSO, MPD, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigations are open and ongoing with detectives working additional leads. No further information is currently available