Law enforcement raided several large, allegedly illegal marijuana growing operations outside Beatty and Olene this week.
Near Olene on Wednesday, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputies destroyed an illegal marijuana grow in the 13000 block of Crystal Springs Rd. The property owner leased the property to individuals for what was supposed to be a licensed commercial hemp operation. Investigators, however, found 11,000 plants and no licensed hemp or marijuana operations.
The illegal grow included a diversion of roughly 1.5 million gallons of water from the Lost River, according to the sheriff’s department.
Deputies partnered with the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team to tracking numerous operations for several weeks, according to Sheriff Chris Kaber.
On Tuesday, two warrants were secured and served on two separate, large allegedly illegal marijuana grows near Beatty.
No arrests were made as of Thursday, but criminal charges were referred to the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office for review.
Both operations were purported to be hemp, but none of the growing operation were licensed or permitted and on site testing during the search warrant services revealed the plants were high THC marijuana, according to the Klamath Falls Police Department.
Unlawful use of groundwater is also being investigated as part of the inquiry.
Between the two search warrant sites, the plants and illegal marijuana product from more than 22,000 marijuana plants were destroyed by Klamath County bulldozer along with the greenhouses and plant propagation.
Site cleanup was left as the responsibility of the landowners who leased their property to be used in illegal marijuana production.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal manufacture or distribution of drugs within Klamath County is encouraged to call the Klamath Falls Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at (541) 883-5334 or the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at (541) 850-5380.