stock_deschutes courthouse

The Deschutes County Courthouse in Bend.

A Bend man was sentenced for leasing land southeast of Bend used as an illegal marijuana farm and caught shipping butane oil around the country.

Jason Montgomery Knight, 47, appeared Tuesday morning in Deschutes County Circuit Court where he was given three years probation and drug treatment in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of illegal manufacturing of a marijuana item.

In 2018, Knight leased 5 acres on Back Alley Road to a couple who were involved in the illegal grow operation and busted by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team.

Text messages between Knight and his tenants reveal he knew about their illegal operation and regularly offered advice on growing marijuana, according to prosecutor Evander McIver.

The couple was present during a September 2018 search of the property by drug task force members and told officers they worked for Knight. On the property were two butane oil labs and four greenhouses. Police seized 93 plants, 2,000 grams of marijuana and 72 boxes of marijuana extract intended for use in vape pens. The products were being shipped around the country. Several boxes of butane oil bound for Boston were intercepted by authorities.

"Those (butane oil) pens were sent to the lab and they did come back with dangerous amounts of carcinogenic chemicals in them," McIver said.

Knight has struggled in the past with opioid addiction, according to his attorney, Michael R. Hughes.

Knight is highly knowledgeable about cannabis cultivation and 13 years prior to his arrest he was registered with the state to grow medical marijuana on his property.

In 2018, he was living out of state and his tenants told him they intended to get licensed to legally grow weed in Oregon, Hughes said.

Judge Alison Emerson allowed Knight to enter a drug dependency treatment program in lieu of additional jail time.

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Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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