Burglary north of Salem leads to massive marijuana seizure

A burglary Sunday morning led to a massive marijuana seizure at an illegal operation, deputies said.

More than 2,800 pounds of marijuana were found, along with two firearms, body armor and smaller quantities of heroin, ecstasy, LSD and various prescription drugs, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. 

In a news release, Marion County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Landers said deputies were dispatched to a property on Labish Garden Road NE near Highway 99E just after 6 a.m. Sunday. 

The caller reported four people armed with rifles were breaking into a shop on the property.

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When deputies arrived, the people fled in two separate vehicles, a gray Dodge Ram and a white pick-up of an unknown make and model.

Deputies chased the white pick-up on Interstate 5 before ending the pursuit due to safety reasons near Woodburn.

While investigating the burglary, deputies learned the property was the site of an illegal marijuana operation and discovered a large amount of marijuana in the shop, MCSO alleged.

Detectives got a search warrant for the property and seized 1.4 tons of marijuana, guns and other drugs. 

The property owner was cited and released on suspicion of unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful manufacture of marijuana Items.

Investigators are seeking tips from anyone who may have information regarding the burglary to the property.

Tipsters can text TIPMCSO and their tip to 847411 or online by visiting co.marion.or.us/SO/Pages/tip411.aspx.

Other recent large busts

This incident comes on the heels of reports of several other large marijuana busts across the state.

About a week ago, authorities arrested two Talbot residents after raiding an illegal marijuana grow Tuesday in Jefferson, seizing nearly 200 pounds of marijuana and more than $25,000. 

Oregon State Police’s NW Region Marijuana Team and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they were tipped off by nearby residents about the indoor marijuana grow and served a search warrant. 

Authorities said officers found 2,158 live plants, 196 pounds of packaged/bulk marijuana and $25,560 in cash.

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On Oct. 28, state police served a search warrant in the 12000 block of Modoc Road in Central Point in Jackson County where they found 62 large, outdoor grows, which contained 18,360 pounds of illicit processed marijuana and plants. Officials also found $80,000 in cash and four firearms, according to state police.  

On Nov. 5, detectives from the Linn Interagency Narcotics Enforcement team searched a 26-foot U-Haul box truck after stopping the driver while traveling south on Interstate 5 near Albany in the days prior. At the time, the driver and passenger claimed they were carrying furniture, despite what officials called an “overwhelming odor” of marijuana. 

For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at wmwoodworth@statesmanjournal.com, call 503-910-6616 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth.

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