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Suspects arrested in Josephine County pot raid

Zacharea Mohammad Jafarzadeh, left, and Woodrow Charles Benear, both of Cave Junction, were each arrested Tuesday by the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team following searches on three Josephine County properties that culminated with the seizure and destruction of more than 27,000 plants and more than $250,000. Josephine County Jail booking photos.

Two Cave Junction men were arrested Tuseday on felony marijuana charges and 11 others were detained following a raid that resulted in the seizure of tens of thousands of marijuana plants and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Zaharea Mohammad Jafarzadeh, 30, and Woodrow Charles Benear, 32, were each charged with felony manufacturing, delivering and possessing marijuana after three raids on Josephine County properties.

During Tuesday searches in the 1300 block of Lakeshore Drive in Selma, the 6000 block of Takilma Road in Cave Junction and Jafarzadeh’s home in the 300 block of Merlot Drive, investigators seized and destroyed 27,696 plants that JMET alleges were illegally grown, along with $255,611 in cash and 27 firearms.

Investigators — Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team and the Jackson County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team — also seized multiple water pumps and generators as evidence, according to a release issued by the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday afternoon in the case.

Police also detained 11 subjects “due to safety concerns,” the release states.

When police questioned witnesses at the marijuana grows on Lakeshore Drive and Takilma Road, Jafarzadeh was allegedly described as “in charge,” according to an affidavit filed by the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office in Jafarzadeh’s Josephine County Circuit Court case.

The Josephine County District Attorney’s office charged Jafarzadeh on Wednesday in with felony charges of unlawful manufacturing and possessing a marijuana item surrounding alleged marijuana growing operations at the Takilma Road and Lakeshore Drive properties. Jafarzadeh also faces two felony counts of felon in possession of a firearm after two handguns were allegedly located in his Cave Junction home.

Jackson County Circuit Court shows that Jafarzadeh has a 2019 conviction for delivering an possessing methamphetamine from a Sept. 7, 2017, Central Point arrest.

Drawing from a DA’s office recommendation highlighting “minimal criminal history” in Oregon and Georgia, Josephine County Judge Matthew Galli set Jafarzadeh’s bail Wednesday at $25,000.

Benear was booked Tuesday in the Josephine County Jail on felony counts of manufacturing, delivering and possessing marijuana, jail records show. He was released later that day after posting bond.

The Josephine County DA’s office has not yet filed charges against Benear as of Wednesday, records show.

JMET and the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the investigation is still ongoing.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com.Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.