WHITE CITY – Oregon Police say they seized 250 tons of illegal marijuana from several industrial warehouses in White City.
Oregon State Police said in a press release Saturday that their Southwestern region drug enforcement team served a search warrant at a site that included five warehouses on Thursday. They found more than 100 people there – including several migrant workers living in poor conditions without running water – as well as what the police called an “epic amount of illegal and processed marijuana”.
The Drug Enforcement Team estimated that during the two-day search, around 500,000 pounds of cannabis were found, along with a gun. Oregon State Police said the marijuana has an estimated market value of around $ 500 million.
White City is a small community in Jackson County near the California state border. Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler earlier this week told lawmakers that the crime rate associated with the thousands of illegal marijuana farms that have sprung up this year in southern Oregon has skyrocketed.
“We have had stabbings, thefts, thefts, burglaries, homicides, sex crimes, motor vehicle crashes, drunk driving, all related to the influx of industry of marijuana and cannabis in our valley, ”Sickler said. “It is certainly a problem that we deal with on a daily basis here. “
He testified Tuesday before a committee of the Oregon Legislature, in an effort to seek help stemming the proliferation of illegal cultivation sites in the region.
Managers at the sites – which were brazenly erected last spring mostly in Jackson and Josephine counties in the largely rural region – have stolen water from rivers, streams and aquifers during a severe drought and mistreated immigrant workers, officials said. In October, the same day a southern Oregon county declared a state of emergency amid a surge in illegal cannabis farms, police raided a site that contained around 2 tons of processed marijuana. and 17,500 potted plants.
Oregon State Police said the investigation into the White City warehouses will take several weeks.
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Police seize 250 tonnes of illegal marijuana from warehouses in White City