Josephine County raids net thousands of pounds of pot, multiple firearms

A harvest season crackdown on Josephine County medical marijuana growers suspected of having significantly more of the drug than allowed under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program led to the seizure of 930 pounds of bud and criminal charges for 26 people, the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement team reported today.

A month-long series of investigations netted of thousands of pounds of marijuana, 120 firearms, and additional drugs including methamphetamine and heroin, Oregon State Police said in a news release. A number of the cases have been submitted to the Josephine County District Attorney's Office for potential charges toward additional suspects.

Investigators said a majority of the 17 cases involved individuals associated with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program who had more product than is allowed under state guidelines. A handful of cases targeted growers suspected of selling marijuana for recreational use in local and out-of-state markets.

The cases took police to grow sites in Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Merlin, Wilderville, Williams, and Selma. Police seized 930 pounds of marijuana bud, 7,500 pounds growing on 279 mature plants, hundreds of additional pounds of drying marijuana, 120 firearms, and various amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and Percocet.

Police said the largest raid netted the seizure of almost 5,000 pounds of growing marijuana from 32 mature plants at a Merlin residence in the 300 block of Connie Lane. Police used a dump truck to transport the plants from the site. Investigators also seized 43 pounds of bud, more than 53 pounds of other drying marijuana, ten firearms, and cash. Marshal Jones, 60, was cited and released on drug related charges

The most recent raid on Tuesday targeted three Williams-area residences in the 1400 block of Rock Creek Road. Detectives seized about 252 pounds of packaged and unpackaged marijuana, methamphetamine, 14 firearms, a ballistic vest, surveillance equipment, and other evidence, police said. Ed Linebaugh, 57; Grady Haning, 32; and Andrew Haning, 30,were cited and released on drug-related charges.

The investigations into several of the cases are ongoing.

RADE is made up of police from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, OSP, the Josephine County District Attorney's Office and Josephine County Community Corrections. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department also contributed resources to the effort.

— Ryan Pfeil

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