On September 14, 2021, Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET) obtained a search warrant on an enormous illegal marijuana growing operation near Philpott Lane in Bonanza, Oregon. The search warrant was served by the Oregon State Police (OSP) SWAT team, BINET, OSP Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Team, the Klamath Falls Police Department and the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office.
The operation was purported to be “hemp”, but the illegal growing operation was not licensed or permitted and preliminary on-site testing during the search warrant services revealed the plants were high THC marijuana. Unlawful use of groundwater is also being investigated.
The illegal marijuana grow sites covered over 300 acres and consisted of 132 large greenhouses stuffed full of mature marijuana plants. The operation was run off of a newly completed and un-inspected groundwater well which likely pumped thousands of gallons of water each day to water the illegal marijuana. After evidence was collected, approximately 51,480 illegal marijuana plants were destroyed by Klamath County Solid Waste Management bulldozer on site along with the un-permitted greenhouses. A large amount of US Currency was also seized as suspected drug proceeds.
Criminal charges on multiple individuals were referred to the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office for review.
Klamath County has an increasing problem with large scale illegal marijuana grows. The illegal marijuana grow related increase in water theft and illegal use of groundwater during these extreme drought years continues to be a community concern.
The Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team is comprised of detectives from the Klamath Falls Police Department and the Oregon State Police. BINET operates out of the Klamath Falls Police Department and works closely with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Klamath County Parole and Probation, and DHS Child Welfare.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal manufacture or distribution of drugs within Klamath County is encouraged to call the Klamath Falls Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at (541) 883-5334 or the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at (541) 850-5380.