WHITE CITY, Ore. — Police in Oregon say they have seized 250 tons of illegal marijuana from industrial warehouses in White City.
The Oregon State Police announced in a news release Saturday that its Southwest 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, processed marijuana.”
The drug enforcement team estimated that during the two-day search approximately 500,000 pounds of cannabis was found, as well as a firearm. The Oregon State Police said the marijuana had an estimated street value of around $500 million.
White City is a small community in Jackson County near the California state line. Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler told lawmakers last week the crime rate associated with the thousands of illegal marijuana farms that have sprung up this year in Southern Oregon has gone through the roof.
“We’ve had stabbings, robberies, thefts, burglaries, homicides, sex crimes, motor vehicle accidents, DUIs, all related to the influx of the marijuana-cannabis industry in our valley,” Sickler said. “It is certainly an issue we deal with on a daily basis here.”
He testified Tuesday before a committee of the Legislature, in an effort to seek help in stemming the proliferation of illegal grow sites.
The managers of the sites have stolen water from rivers, creeks and aquifers during a severe drought and abused immigrant workers, officials have said.