A Deschutes County drug enforcement team raided and dismantled a 30-acre illegal marijuana grow operation in Alfalfa that detectives say was operated by a Mexican drug cartel. The team seized 9,227 plants and 2,800 pounds of processed marijuana in what is considered the largest drug bust in county history. Two pistols and an AR-15 rifle were also seized.

Detectives, along with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, arrived Thursday at the property at Dodds Road and Alfalfa Market Road. The officials detained and released about 21 people, mostly Mexican residents illegally trafficked into the United States to work in the illegal marijuana trade, said Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp.

“We did not arrest any of the migrant workers,” Vander Kamp said. “Most of them were there to pay off debt for being smuggled into the country.”

The workers were found living in wooden structures and dome tents with limited clean water sources, Vander Kamp said.

“We didn’t know we would be walking into a humanitarian aid situation,” Vander Kamp said.

Several suspects in charge of the operation have been identified, but their names have not been released by the sheriff’s office. A Bend woman who oversaw the workers and the property was arrested and released with a citation to appear in court, Vander Kamp said. Other local people are suspects, and detectives expect to make more arrests.

Through the investigation, which began two years ago, detectives found the illegal operation diverted a significant amount of water from nearby homes and farms struggling with drought conditions.

The illegal site used underground water and maintained a complex watering system that supplied several 15,000- to 20,000-gallon tanks, Vander Kamp said.

“Because of the lack of resources and water, we weren’t expecting to see a grow that size,” Vander Kamp said.

In addition, the site used pesticides and insecticides that threaten residential water supplies, and used a large amount of electricity for lights and fans.

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(10) comments

heretic

For those of you saying, "Oh no, Biden's not to blame!" please look at the surging numbers of apprehensions at the border since he came into office. This summer, CBP apprehensions were the highest they've been in 21 years. This is not a coincidence, the Democratic Party has all but invited the world to come, while emasculating ICE. Keep voting Blue if you prefer an open border.

observer

So, why no actual location address, property owner reveal, and mainly why no serious complaint or reaction from the locals all this time? Most rural folks around here are pretty nosey so it is hard to believe NOBODY knew what was going on here. All those folks suffering from water losses during this drought? Not that far from the Bend Airport where lots of planes would have been flying over this the last 2 YEARS. Kinda weird how all that don't add up. btw, for all the big brains saying this is biden's fault LOL lol this started two YEARS ago when that art of the deal guy was running these shows.

NotaRobot

Thanks President Biden for allowing a Highway of illegal immigrants and drugs into our country. You’re really a winner

GrandCraft

Hey Robot, I mean Putin Commie AntiAmerican, you tricked yourself into believing this largest drug bust in history was established in the last 7 1/2 months on Biden’s watch? I’d watch who you call a winner, brainiac

Troy96

So when was it started Grand craft? Oh wait you don’t know either. And it’s 100% possible and probably it started under Biden’s administration

Starling

If you read the article, you will see they have been investigating it for two years.

LibGravy

Hey grandcraft! What’s with all the vitriol and name calling? I thought you libs were all about “inclusion” and “tolerance”. Could your reaction possibly be due to a rising concern about more voters finally realizing the effects of “progressive” policies? Wasn’t crime supposed to fall with a progressive president? Why is violent crime surging? Why is job creation falling so short of forecasts? Why would the price of gasoline climb so fast? What’s the deal with overall inflation? Will more federal spending actually slow the rate of inflation? We were told the world would begin to respect America again, what happened there? Wasn’t a “woke” military supposed to be stronger, more lethal and do a better job of protecting our citizens? How about protecting our borders? Do you believe that letting in more than one million foreign citizens (over the past seven months) crossing over from our southern border will reduce the amount of drug cartel activity in the U.S.? How’s the struggle with COVID going? Did President Biden unite American citizens behind our vaccines? Didn’t he promise to “listen to science”? Why are two top FDA leaders quitting? Something about President Biden not listening to their scientific advice?

GrandCraft

I stopped reading after you regurgitated your umpteenth moronic OAN talking point. As for tolerance, we never tolerate those who are intolerant. Your era is over. (Especially for those of you who refuse to get vaxed which is keeping the world from spinning again but luckily you’re just picking yourselves off that way). Get used to it.

Patsy

Read Observers comment, This is Not Bidens doing.

Transitory Inflation

Wowsers. GJ LE. Curious why the feds were not involved.

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