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Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team seize plants, stolen vehicles at illegal marijuana grow

Written by on April 20, 2022

Azalea, Ore. – In the evening hours of Monday, April 18th, 2022, detectives with the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT) executed a search warrant on a rural property in Azalea, Oregon and located an illegal marijuana operation.

Detectives seized 1,702 marijuana plants, and approximately 23.5 pounds of processed marijuana.  Detectives also located 4 high end vehicles that were seemingly hidden, or stashed on the property.  Closer inspection of the vehicles revealed they all had switched VIN plates.  The counterfeit VIN plates were high quality forgeries that were difficult to detect.  A check of the real VIN’s showed that all four vehicles were stolen out of the state of Florida.  

The stolen vehicles were a BMW X6, a Maserati, a Range Rover, and a Bentley, and all were late model versions.  The type of vehicles, the sophistication and quality of the switched VIN’s, and the fact they were all stolen from clear across the country all indicate a level of sophistication that is well above the average criminal activity.  This is another example of the rise in crime we have seen here in our communities, brought here by the criminal organizations that are here for the purpose of growing illegal marijuana. 

Southern Oregon has been inundated with large scale illegal marijuana grows during the last couple of years, including Douglas County.  The scale of these operations is unlike anything we have ever seen before and they are destructive to our communities.  These operations are most often run and controlled by multinational criminal organizations with only profit in mind.  

These illegal operators pay no regard to local resources, rules, laws, or ethics.  They often do vast amounts of damage to natural resources, and damage our streams and rivers by dumping garbage, toxic chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides), and human feces.  Water diversion is another concern as they often illegally take water from wells and rivers.  It is common to see illegal damming of small streams to impound water for their own use. Last summer many local streams went completely dry, partially due to this overuse.

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