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5,600 plants seized in Josephine County pot raids

The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team arrested 23-year-old Vincent Russel Lopez-Avendano May 19 on charges accusing him unlawfully delivering and possessing marijuana and unlawfully appropriating water following a raid outside Grants Pass. [JMET photo]

The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team made one arrest and seized more than 5,000 plants following searches last week of two suspected illicit marijuana raids outside Grants Pass.

Vincent Russel Lopez-Avendano, 23, of Santa Rosa, California, faces felony counts of unlawfully manufacturing and possessing marijuana stemming from a May 19 search of an alleged grow operation in the 3000 block of Southside Road, Grants Pass, according to a news release issued by the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon.

The multi-agency Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team alleges it found Lopez-Avendano in possession of more than 4,400 plants on the property, and the Josephine County District Attorney’s office has since added a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully appropriating water, accusing him of storing, using or diverting water without a permit.

On the same day as the raid on Southside Road, JMET says it found approximately 1,200 unlicensed plants on a property in the 200 block of Forest Glen Road. Police detained two individuals in the second raid, but as of Monday afternoon the primary suspect remained outstanding.

Lopez-Avendano was booked in the Josephine County Jail Thursday and released Friday after posting $5,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 22, Josephine County Circuit Court records show.