Sixty officers discover the greenery at homes in Cave Junction of two men with medical licenses to grow the stuff
BY BETH QUINN, Oregon Live
GRANTS PASS, Oregon -- Sixty police officers with search warrants found more than 3,500 marijuana plants growing in underground greenhouses Friday morning at the Cave Junction homes of two Josephine County men who have medical licenses to grow pot.
The Josephine Interagency Narcotics Team found the plants in a 50-foot-by-50-foot underground room at the Reeves Creek Road home of Rex Denham, 26, investigators said. They estimated that a second three-story greenhouse under construction would have space for 5,000 to 7,000 plants.
"It caught me by surprise, being such an elaborate grow site," Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel said. "That's the most sophisticated operation we've run across."
A smaller underground greenhouse containing 50 marijuana plants was found at the Westside Road home of Freddie Tomayo, 34, investigators said.
Neither man was arrested, and investigators said both hold current Oregon medical marijuana cards that allow them to possess as many as seven marijuana plants and 1 ounce of dried marijuana for medical purposes.
Investigators also searched the Wolf Creek home of James Conn, 34, where police found a small amount of marijuana but no underground growing site. Conn does not hold a medical card to possess marijuana, police said. He was not arrested.
Investigators said the simultaneous raids were carried out by officers from 11 agencies, including the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon State Police, Josephine County sheriff's office, Grants Pass police, the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon National Guard. The raids were part of a continuing 2-year-old investigation, they said.
Investigators said they think the confiscated marijuana was destined for a distribution network in California.