Oregon hemp farm busted growing marijuana in an IMET bust

That’s the post from the sheriff office and a news article covering it, both includes pictures if you want to see the but I’ll copy paste the sheriff’s post here.

Task Force Raids Black-Market Marijuana Grows Back-to-Back; Finds $600k, 20k plants, 15k lbs. Processed Illegal Marijuana

JCSO Case #21-4568 & #21-4617

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives served multiple search warrants on two black-market marijuana grow sites in as many days. Combined, the raids uncovered 15-thousand lbs. of processed illegal marijuana, more than 20-thousand plants yet to be cultivated, five firearms, and nearly $650,000 in cash. Overall, three warrants were served, and one suspect has been arrested. During the raids on both properties, 111 workers were taken into custody, interviewed, and released.

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 (JCSO), Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Jackson County Code Enforcement, and the Jackson County Fire District #3 (JCFD3) Fire Marshal assisted and will be enforcing more penalties and fines on both properties.

The first raid was Tuesday at 7:11 a.m., where investigations led IMET to a property in the 10000 block of Old Stage Rd. in Gold Hill. At this location, detectives found bags of cash totaling $643,524, five firearms, and forged identification. In a nearby storage room, investigations uncovered 10-thousand lbs. of processed marijuana which was previously weighed, separated, and individually packaged for distribution. A total of 58 workers were taken into custody and one man was arrested. The suspect, Hernan Sanchez Villalobos, 33, a Mexican citizen and the Gold Hill property owner, was arrested for felony charges of prohibited import or export, unlawful possession, unlawful manufacture, and conspiracy for unlawful distribution of a marijuana item, as well as second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument (fake ID), and laundering a monetary instrument. The property had no permits to grow or process marijuana for recreational, commercial, or medical purposes.

The very next day on Wednesday at 7:49 a.m., IMET served a search warrant at an additional black-market marijuana grow site on the 1000 block of Meridian Rd. in Eagle Point. At this site, detectives discovered 20,199 plants in 102 greenhouses, and five-thousand lbs. of processed illegal marijuana. On the property, 53 workers were taken into custody, interviewed, and released. The property had an Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) license to grow hemp, but was not permitted to grow or process marijuana for recreational or medical purposes.

While regulatory agencies investigate permitted cannabis operations, IMET is focusing on the black-market marijuana trade in the Rogue Valley. Oregon State Police (OSP), Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) detectives, and JCSO deputies assisted with both operations.

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

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its out of control in southern oregon

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Was there ever really strict enforcement until this year? Seemed NorCal got the brunt of it for a long time

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I stay in the valley for a reason, southern Oregon be on some shit.

I’m not surprised people got popped trying to grow under a hemp license cause that was the scheme like 2 years ago, late to the party you miss the fun.

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I keep hearing from farms down south that its a total joke. Some inspections are really thorough and take hours and some are not even taking samples or testing anything at all and come and go within minutes.

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Looks like it was the scheme up until 2 days ago…

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People would get busted but it was here and there, I’ve witnessed cops come for a domestic on the property and walk past the 150 plants in 2 greenhouses to deal with the domestic and leave without questioning the plants.

Cali definitely cares more but I feel they deal with more violent gangs/cartels running large ops. Still happens here just not as much.

The large scale greenhouses are getting cracked down this year for sure, flyovers have been very common this year.

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People will definitely still do it but I feel like it’s been looked at more than before so why risk it

I’ve been hearing the inspections are all over the place too and I only personally know 3 hemp growers, I’m betting they had a tip to look at this one but who knows.

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Might be a parallel construction type deal, where they already know where to look and the rest is just a formality

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No it hasn’t.

People using hemp licenses to grow is probably how over 50% of large scale grows/op’s do their work.

Every op that I’ve ever been to with over 10k plants has been unlicensed or were an ex medical grower who went large scale in the early 90’s.

I don’t doubt it happens it’s just not been my experience recently, moving to multiple medium-large sized grows instead of one massive 20k+ plants in 120 greenhouse grow on one property.

Hemp boys I knew who grew like this have either stopped doing it or have stopped being so blatant about it

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Thats why I said over 50%.

The few growers you have met barely make up a percentage, growers and op’s come and go as well.

A lot of smart and dumb people are using hemp licenses as cover, I personally have known a farm that may or may not due to how secluded they are, they get to pick their own plant samples to send in for testing as well making it a bonus, can pick and choose whatever;)

Imo its the most popular way as no one questions hemp farmers as to why they have so many plants

One arrested?
Scape goat.
Hope he doesn’t squeal. We will be seeing his name on the covid death list if he does…

Claiming to make a profit farming hemp gets more suspicious with each passing day…

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