OREGON — Illegal marijuana operations run by domestic and international cartels are expanding throughout Oregon thanks to the state’s liberal laws and inadequate regulations, which impact the legal and illegal drug industries as well as law enforcement’s ability to address drug crimes.
Major cartels, including ones from China, Mexico, Russia, Argentina, Bulgaria and other countries, are now growing marijuana year-round and committing other egregious crimes, such as human trafficking and slavery, to support their illegal activities because Oregon has made it hard for police and farm inspectors to do their jobs.
In addition, legal hemp farmers are not obligated under Oregon law to allow inspectors onto their property to search for illegal marijuana cultivation operations on their farms.
Oh NOW you want federal help after you defund your police with state and municipal dollars— Eric 🇺🇸🌴🌴 (@EROTHCJ5) November 16, 2021
Oregon Pleads for Federal Help to Combat Drug Cartelshttps://t.co/gE9Fvr3oSW
Retired Tucson Border Patrol Chief Roy Villareal, who saw a lot of action at the U.S.-Mexico border, told FOX News human trafficking is a huge element of the drug industry:
“Trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry. A lot of these vulnerable populations use their life savings.
“Some are essentially indentured servants and they’re working off this debt for a long period of time.
“In other cases, some of these migrants are asked to transport narcotics or some form of crime to work off a different part of their debt.”
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel confirmed that drug traffickers are now coming to Oregon. He told The Epoch Times:
“Drug traffickers have flocked here from every state in the nation and nearly a dozen countries.”
Oregon’s Jackson County has declared a state of emergency as cartels have stolen water, intimidated residents and enslaved more than 10,000 illegal immigrants.
The immigrants are reportedly forced into service under threats to their lives or those of their families back home.
According to a report by The Epoch Times:
“An Aug. 17 collaboration with HIDTA [High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas] led to a large raid in which about 250 law enforcement officers from more than a dozen state, local, and federal agencies served a search warrant at a suspected grow.
“That search uncovered approximately 200,000 plants in 400 greenhouses, spread across 1,300 acres.
“It also revealed the extent of narco slavery, with nearly 300 workers living in squalid conditions on-site.”
If you weren’t sure Democrats were trying to destroy our nation… Read this!— Politically Stripped ™️ 🇺🇸🗽 (@politstrip) November 4, 2020
Oregon becomes first state to decriminalize hard drugs like heroin and cocaine
Drug Cartels will take over this state quickly https://t.co/i8Ry3jePhP
There are also allegations that some people have been tortured or executed, according to the same report.
Albany Police Captain Brad Liles told The Epoch Times in a separate report that Chinese operators had major and sophisticated indoor growing operations:
“Growers convert a house, barn, or large outbuilding and retrofit it with lighting, ballasts, and hydroponics that operate on timers.”
Crazy like Biden , right? Peaceful??? Have you been under a rock. Portland , Oregon 800 murders. Drug cartels setting up in “ open borders” move. More undocumented migrants coming in daily. https://t.co/mrOjDWfMOc— Lennon#cuz (@mayj3_barbara) June 12, 2021
In the small town of Philomath, one illegal operation took place in a two-story warehouse structure with 11 rooms and 5,000 square feet.
According to Philomath Chief of Police Ken Rueben, the warehouse contained 4,000 plants in varying stages, from starters to fully-grown plants ready to harvest.
The sophisticated facility even used generators, air filtration devices and electronically controlled temperature and humidity based on the age of the plants.
Legislators send millions in relief to rural Oregon for farms, water and to fight cartels https://t.co/fWTXIerAZE— Malheur Enterprise (@MalheurNews) December 14, 2021
Five suspects allegedly connected with a Chinese organized crime group headquartered in New York were arrested during the raid, according to Chief Rueben.
PRC actors involved with Mexican marijuana cartels in— (PIAS) (@privacy_spider) December 9, 2021
Oregon and now, featured in a documentary from California.
Communists and the narcos are pro-slavery. They're doing it with marijuana grows in America.
The weed is legal. The labor is not. .@VICE https://t.co/w8WpNhMO8Q
The suspects communicated through an interpreter and include Jianhua Chen, Yushen Chen, Shuiqing Hu, Zining Huang and Weiming Wu.
Drug Cartels are Controlling this state!!!!!.. Oregon lawmakers pass bill to make illegal immigrants eligible for Medicaid, Dem gov expected to sign into lawhttps://t.co/wAuqfmK6fR— Gemini (@Roger526541201) June 27, 2021
All five face felony charges related to possession, delivery and unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, according to the report.
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How were authorities tipped off in the Chinese cartel case?
Reuben said a high electricity bill and a vehicle registration led to a search warrant on Nov. 29.
Law enforcement had tracked a vehicle that was making drug deliveries in Portland back to the property. A check of the power bill also showed that consumption at the site was unusually high.
Rick Fromme of Apex Data Consulting told The Epoch Times:
“An indoor grow house typically uses as much energy as 10 homes.
“Where a typical house may have a bill of less than $200, a grow house will be in the thousands.”
Law enforcement officers and other authorities in southern Oregon say that a rash of illegal marijuana cultivation operations in the area are linked to Mexican drug cartels intent on overwhelming local resources as a strategy to maximize profits. https://t.co/jqDukjNhnp pic.twitter.com/fSNj8tVtQL— 420 Intel (@420intel) November 2, 2021
However, drug operators do not care about the amount of energy they use nor its impact on the environment and climate change. They are solely focused on acquiring money.
I have a theory. The “immigration Left”, academic & institutional NGOs, are indirectly lobbying for Mexican drug cartels, wittingly or unwittingly, in States w/ lowered drug enforcement & nullified criminal incarceration for alien criminals, like OREGON. https://t.co/AaA7aIcWVG— (PIAS) (@privacy_spider) November 11, 2021
Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR) wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland to ask for federal help.
Specifically, the congressman requested that Garland direct the FBI and DEA to provide additional resources to Jackson, Josephine, Douglas and Klamath counties in Oregon.
Bentz also requested teams of up to 20 people be sent to each location, according the report.
#cannabiscommunity #marijuana #cannabis Illegal pot operations in Oregon may be linked to Mexican cartels Many of the illegal pot grows in Klamath County have been linked to national and international criminal organizations. https://t.co/4hy0fTTC7X pic.twitter.com/1VlhEXWOkC— The Medical Marijuana Blog (@MMPconnect) December 8, 2021
Bentz also held a roundtable discussion last month in Medford.
During the Nov. 10 meeting, Bentz said:
“There’s a lot of frustration and a lot of fear, and a lot of people are getting hurt. We need to get in here and do something about it.”
The congressman also noted:
“This is a humanitarian disaster taking place in plain sight. People just can’t ignore it.”
In Oregon $300m in weed sells legally (and taxed) while state police estimate $1B gets illegally exported from the state— Lars Larson (@LarsLarsonShow) December 6, 2021
Portland shovels out $1.3m in race based grants to help the weed biz.@GovKateBrown allows Mexican cartels to use illegals for slave labor to keep costs low. https://t.co/nxrzT7MrBR
The illegal operations have infiltrated legal hemp farms because the cartels can hide their unlawful plants on properties where farmers are not obligated under Oregon law to allow inspectors onto their property.
We're seeing this deception in Oregon. A hemp farmer will plant marijuana in the middle of their hemp crop to disguise it from state inspectors. https://t.co/CvLrx8nJo2— Randy Philbrick (@PDXRandyLee) November 5, 2019
State Rep. Lily Morgan told The Epoch Times that the illegal growing of unregulated marijuana is problematic:
“Oregon has issued hemp licenses since 2015, but there wasn’t an inspector on the ground until 2020.
“The [bill] legalizing the production of hemp did not contemplate intoxicating hemp products entering the general marketplace.”
Criminals appear to be getting direct assistance from legal hemp farms in two ways.
First, the cartels grow their illegal plants on the legal farms.
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel told The Epoch Times:
“Many operations will intersperse the marijuana plants in a field of hemp. When the grow is done, they harvest the illegal marijuana and let the hemp rot.”
Second, many registered hemp farms won’t allow state inspectors in, and there’s nothing law enforcement can do.
According to The Epoch Times, Oregon Health Authority reports that nearly half of the registered hemp farms inspected in the state are allowing the cartels to have access to their properties.
However, it is not clear whether the farmers are supporting and benefiting from the illegal growers or only assisting them under duress.
Nonetheless, the presence of drug cartels is leading to other problems.
Rep. Morgan pointed out:
“We have violence related to the transfer of money.”
She also noted that Oregon is a “critical drug-trafficking region” that needs “aggressive enforcement” activities that can be provided by the HIDTA program.
The program enables partnerships between local law enforcement and federal drug enforcement.
Cartels are absorbing en masse agricultural workers because the illegal grows don't pay payroll taxes. They are paying workers $25 an hour cash. Legal farmers can not compete with that. A farmer who has been in SO for almost 3 decades is surrounded on 3 sides by illegal grows.— Jane Doe (@NotSafeInOR) December 11, 2021
Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler stressed that prosecutions also need to happen:
“We also need the U.S. Attorney on board. We can arrest as many people as we want, but if there’s no prosecution, it doesn’t matter.”
The sheriff also suggested agencies at the federal level, like the IRS, should be interested in getting involved because millions of dollars are involved in these illegal operations:
“We’ve seized millions of dollars in cash and it’s not taxed or accounted for, and that’s just the money we’ve seized.”
Human trafficking victims are working these illegal grows. The conditions these victims are facing is almost unspeakable but due to the lack of enforcement they will not be rescued.— Jane Doe (@NotSafeInOR) December 11, 2021
Albany Police Captain Liles confirmed that these illegal drug operations are bringing in big bucks:
“In the past year and a half, we’ve made the largest marijuana seizures we’ve ever been involved with.
“We’re seeing operations with as many as 10,000 plants. And the amount of money is just ridiculous.”
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