In a series of coordinated efforts, the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) has executed 14 search warrants during the months of July and August, targeting illegal cannabis operations in the Rogue Valley. The results have been significant, with a substantial number of plants seized, arrests made, and fines issued to landowners, highlighting a concentrated effort to combat black-market marijuana trade in the region.
IMET, a multi-agency task force funded by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, has been leading the charge against illicit cannabis activities. Comprising personnel from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Medford Police Department (MPD), Homeland Security Investigations, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s office, IMET’s mission is to curtail the illegal marijuana trade.
The operations conducted by IMET and its partner agencies have yielded staggering results:
- Approximately 24,681 Marijuana Plants Seized: Across the 14 search warrants, IMET seized a total of nearly 24,681 marijuana plants, putting a significant dent in the black-market cannabis supply chain.
- 1,531 Pounds of Processed Black-Market Cannabis Confiscated: In addition to the plants, over 1,500 pounds of processed black-market cannabis were seized during these operations.
- 20 Firearms Confiscated: The enforcement actions also led to the confiscation of 20 firearms, highlighting the potential dangers associated with illegal marijuana operations.
- Over $20,000 in Cash Seized: A substantial sum of cash, exceeding $20,000, was also discovered in connection with these illegal activities.
The impact of these operations extends beyond arrests and seizures:
- Six Arrests: Six individuals have been arrested thus far as a result of these enforcement efforts, with ongoing investigations likely to lead to further charges.
- Landowners Fined: Jackson County Code Enforcement issued citations to landowners totaling a whopping $784,620. These fines were levied for various violations, including unpermitted dwellings, improper electrical installations, and environmental concerns associated with these illegal grow sites.
- Water Rights Violations: The Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters issued multiple Notices of Violation (NOV) related to the unlawful appropriation of surface water and groundwater for irrigation and storage at illegal commercial cannabis operations. This underscores the environmental impact of such illicit activities.
Surgeries remarked that these efforts are a testament to the commitment of law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to combat the illegal cannabis trade and ensure the safety and integrity of legal cannabis operations in Oregon. IMET continues to focus its efforts on dismantling the black-market marijuana trade in the Rogue Valley.
While investigations and enforcement actions are ongoing, the Rogue Valley area can expect further crackdowns on illegal cannabis operations as IMET and its partner agencies work to uphold the law and protect the community.