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  1. talltom
    Bear hunters happened upon large marijuana grow in northern Wallowa County. Oregon State Police in remote northeastern Oregon destroyed more than 91,000 marijuana plants, found a stash of weapons and arrested six suspects this week, stubbing out what they call the biggest outdoor pot operation ever discovered in the state.

    A multi-agency investigation started this spring, after bear hunters happened upon the site on public land in northern Wallowa County and reported it to police.

    Early Wednesday morning, law enforcement closed in.

    Rallying help from a dozen agencies, including support from the Oregon State Police SWAT team and in the air from the Oregon Army National Guard, police arrived at the national forest site where plants as small as starts and as big as 10 inches stretched for more than a mile.

    Growers apparently had removed trees and underbrush in a ravine they'd terraced extensively.

    In addition to the suspects, police found guns that included semi-automatic long-barreled weapons, and campsites with enough supplies to sustain growers for several weeks.

    Heaps of trash, miles of plastic tubing, plastic plant containers, herbicides and other toxic chemicals had been dumped along a river's edge, according to Wallowa County Sheriff Fred Steen.

    As the investigation continues, the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division will study potential environment damage caused by the growing operation, "which had been going on for a substantial period," a news release said.

    "Many people would be outraged at the damage to our public lands caused by illegal marijuana growers," said Sgt. John Shaul of the La Grande Police Department, which took part in the bust.

    Lodged in Union County Jail and charged with unlawful manufacture and possession of marijuana are: Arturo B. Barrera, 26; Federico R. Carrasco, 24; Christian R. Gonzalez, 28; Fredy F. Montes, 32; Jesus A. Sanchez, 21; and Audel C. Soto, 29.

    They may also face charges related to environmental crimes.

    Police haven't confirmed where the suspects are from.

    Steen, the Wallowa sheriff, urges Oregonians to be careful recreating this summer in the state's remote areas, since this and other grow operations typically have been occupied by people armed with weapons.

    Katy Muldoon
    The Oregonian
    June 17, 2011

    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/06

Comments

  1. TooFastTim
    I really hate to read articles like this. They don't bother to mention till halfway through the article. These cats are all Mexicans most likely illegals giving good honest hard working growers a bad rep.
  2. talltom
    That was exactly my thought. This is probably the work of cartels, exploiting the workers they leave at the site. These workers take the rap, including use of weapons. The "big fish" don't care what happens, including rhe environmental damage they do. This just increases public sentiment against careless growing. The article should have mentioned this instead of simply saying "Police haven't confirmed where the suspects are from. "

    This piece was picked up today by National Public Radio. It was mostly an interview of a park ranger who emphasized how much it will cost to clean up the mess. But there was no speculation of who set up the plantation and who will probably take the penalty.
  3. TooFastTim
    And there is the thing. No one but tax payers will ever pay for that. So basically tax payers paid for the land paid for the peace officers time and will pay to clean up the mess and pay to incarcerate or deport the illegal all in the name of protecting those same tax payers from a plant most people think should be legal so who benefits from this
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