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Josephine County seized 96,000 plants from 13 searches

In the first half of the year, a marijuana enforcement task force has seized more than 96,000 plants allegedly grown illegally at 13 locations in Josephine County — along with more than half a million dollars in cash.

The Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team seized 96,673 plants between Jan. 1 and June 1, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

The raids, which were conducted in partnership with the Jackson County Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team, Drug Enforcement Agency agents and other local, state and federal agencies, also netted seizures of 46 firearms and $616,068 in cash.

JMET stated that under Oregon law, cash seized under asset forfeiture rules can only fund training and equipment.

“It cannot be used to fund operations or personnel,” the release stated.

Seven search warrants were served at addresses in the Grants Pass area, three in Cave Junction and one each in the Selma, Williams and Merlin areas, according to the release. It did not list exact time, dates, locations or names of suspects because of “the ongoing nature of the investigations.”

Nearly a third of the plants came from one location outside Grants Pass last week, according to an earlier Josephine County Sheriff’s Office release.

On May 26, JMET said it seized and destroyed 30,673 plants from an alleged illegal grow operation in the 8000 block of Monument Drive. Police detained 20 people who haven’t been publicly identified, seized six firearms, generators, heavy equipment and “multiple water pumps.”