Illegal marijuana grow used over 1 million gallons of water according to sheriffs

MEDFORD, Ore.– The Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team is still investigating a growing operation that used more than one million gallons of water illegally.

It was taking place in the hills of East Medford.

Law enforcement from five different agencies raided the five and a half acre operation near the 12000 block of Hillcrest Road.

No arrests were made.

Charges are still pending from the Jackson County District Attorney.

The Sheriff’s Office estimated the almost 17,000 marijuana plants were in the ground for around 40 days before the raid.

Watermasters believe the grow used around 25,000 gallons of water per day.

There were two wells on the property.

The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the illegal use of water.

J.S.C.O. spokesperson Aaron Lewis said, “87 greenhouses, a grow that size, the more we can contact and serve search warrants and identify the primary suspects and hopefully find other properties that are associated.”

The Sheriff’s Office said they interviewed one subject during the raid, but they were let go.

Lewis said they don’t want to arrest anyone before detectives have built a solid case.

He said the sheriff’s office is focused on keeping land and water use from illegal grows to a minimum.

Lewis also said the property could be tied to a larger drug trafficking organization, so there’s more work to be done.

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NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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