4 arrested, $3.5M in marijuana plants seized from Bend illicit grow sitesPosted by On

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Four people have been arrested after authorities concluded an 18-month investigation on Wednesday involving an alleged illicit marijuana grow in Bend, Oregon.

Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, authorities executed search warrants at the 22610 Nelson Road and 64935 Half Mile Lane locations. During the search, law enforcement seized 6,868 plants worth an estimated $3.5 million.

The investigation began after community complaints about the Nelson Road site in unincorporated Bend. Investigators later found the Half Mile Lane site in an unincorporated area in Tumalo, east of Bend, according to Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE).

“Most of the Mexican-national laborers contacted by detectives were trafficked into the United States and promised $20 per day to tend the grow sites. At the Nelson Rd. address, the laborers lived in squalor. They used outdoor toilets and prepared their food in a primitive outdoor kitchen,” CODE said.

Investigators found that the Nelson Road site also alternated using underground well water and diverted irrigation canal water — noting that illegal grows often use pesticides, which can endanger the residential water supply.

During the search at the Half Mile Lane location, Bend Police K-9 Kim found 46-year-old Jose Cuevas-Garcia of Michoacan, Mexico, hiding in a closet, according to CODE. Authorities said…

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