State and county officials have issued violation notices to property owners at the large-scale illegal marijuana operation raided west of Junction City, which was pumping water from a pond, using electricity and placing buildings without permits.
Lane County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Thomas Speldrich said Monday the operation was “one of the largest” marijuana farm raids the department has had. He thinks there are more in the area people are not yet aware of.
“As these operations are found and get some publicity, certainly I think that folks here are going to become more aware that we do have a problem in our county. It just maybe has not been highlighted yet.”
The farm was raided Aug. 24 on High Pass Road, on private property between Smyth Road and Territorial Highway. Police estimated the farm to have around 32 greenhouses, and close to 9,000 marijuana plants were seized.
The Sheriff’s Office said the primary operator was Julian Marin, a 27-year-old who was cited with illegal marijuana manufacturing, but not arrested. Several migrant workers believed to be trafficked were also at the site living in “deplorable” conditions, Speldrich said. The operation was funded by an organized crime group in Mexico, according to Speldrich.
Police are still investigating whether the property owners will be given any criminal charges or fines, Speldrich said. The operation appeared to have been there since the start of the summer growing season, he added.
Reached by phone…