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Drug team finds 100 pounds of marijuana, holds three

Three Jackson County residents are jailed in Salem on drug charges after a multi-agency investigation linked them to more than 100 pounds of marijuana, as well as cash, hash and guns.

Joe Sells, 28, of Medford, and Johnny Kenneth, 29, and Christiana Kenneth, 25, both of Central Point, all face charges of possession and distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team said in a news release today.

MADGE searched the Kenneths' Truax Road home, which is a medical marijuana growing site, Wednesday after Salem police uncovered a plan by the Kenneths and Sells to distribute marijuana, MADGE supervisor Lt. Tim Doney said.

A street crimes unit of the Salem Police Department was tipped off about a big shipment of marijuana destined for distribution in the Salem area this week, police said in news releases.

Salem police detectives found Sells and Johnny Kenneth at a Salem motel on Tuesday. The two men were taken into custody and investigators reported finding 33 pounds of marijuana bagged in one-pound packages and ready for distribution and $3,000 in cash in a 2006 Honda Ridgeline. The drugs and money were seized, as was the sport-utility vehicle, which was believed to be purchased with illegal narcotics proceeds, Salem police said in a news release.

Following up, investigators linked Johnny Kenneth's wife, Christiana, who was in Eugene, to the plot. Eugene police arrested her Tuesday.

At about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, MADGE and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department searched the Kenneths' home in the 6700 block of Truax Road, Central Point. Investigators found about 70 pounds of marijuana — some loose in a large plastic tote and more bagged and stored in a safe — three ounces of hashish, a gallon of hash oil, $14,000 cash suspected to be drug proceeds and seven firearms, Doney said.

He said the case will be referred to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for the consideration of additional local charges.

The Kenneths and Sells remain lodged in the Marion County Jail.

— Anita Burke