Seven Months After Raids, Feds Bring Charges

, Written by Travis Koch, Posted: Wed, May 2 2012 at 6:18 PM, Updated: Wed, May 2 2012 at 6:55 PM

An affidavit from a US Drug agent is charging six Southern Oregon men for possession, manufacturing and distribution of marijuana. A drug illegal under federal law but allowed in Oregon in compliance with state regulations.

It's the first federal prosecution in Oregon of medical marijuana growers. Six men have been charged with growing more pot than they're allowed to, as well as conspiring to sell the rest on the black market. One man has already turned himself in to federal agents and faces charges of manufacturing, possession and distribution.
   
In October of last year, four large scale cannabis operations were raided by federal agents who claim that marijuana was being sold for profit. Seven months later an affidavit charging six men.
In an affidavit by a u-s drug agent, the government says six men from southern Oregon are said to have grown copious amounts of marijuana under the Oregon medical marijuana program with plans to sell the excess buds for profit. Lori Duckworth, with Southern Oregon NORML, a marijuana advocacy group, believes at least one of the growers, Brian Simmons, was in compliance with state regulations. Last fall, four-thousand pounds of marijuana was ripped from the ground at four home saround the Rogue Valley. The feds say it was illegal.The growers say the marijuana was being grown for medical purposes. One was here on east gregory in central point, where simmons was set to buy the home more than four hundred fifty cannabis plants were photographed, measured and confiscated by the feds. Today the house is empty it's being renovated and put up for sale. Now six men, including this man, who turned himself in to the federal  courthouse earlier this week, face charges of manufacturing, possession and distribution of cannabis. A drug, that is illegal under federal law but is allowed and controlled under oregon's medical marijuana statutes. there is no limit to the number of growers allowed at one site which is one of the so-called gray areas many blame to support large scale cannabis grows, legal or not.

    

 

About the Author

Travis Koch

News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.

Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.

Catch Travis co-anchoring with Jennifer Elliott weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

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