More than just a drug problem, how illegal grows are becoming more of a humanitarian crisis

MEDFORD, Ore. – It’s the worst summer we’ve ever seen, that’s what Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler said last night about illegal marijuana grows in the valley.

Sheriff Sickler said it’s more than just a drug problem, the illegal grows in Jackson County are also affecting our water supply and a humanitarian crisis. He spoke at a forum organized by State Rep. Pam Marsh Tuesday night. The sheriff said the human trafficking issue is a common element in many cartel-related grows.

“We’ve seen human trafficking, labor trafficking. We’ve seen workers who have been harassed, threatened, assaulted,” said Sheriff Sickler

Sheriff Sickler says this year his agency has also seen more cartel activity than in previous years. He said the cartels have always been here, their activity now is just more outright. He hopes Jackson County will receive more state and federal resources, and state legislators will be able to create laws to help curtail the illegal activity.

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Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]