On October 19, 2021, Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET) served a search warrant on an illicit marijuana operation housed in a large warehouse in downtown Klamath Falls. The search warrant was served by BINET, The Oregon State Police Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Team, The Klamath Falls Police Department and the Oregon State Police.
The investigation into the illicit marijuana operation began from a previous Klamath County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) investigation into multiple illegal marijuana grows in southern Klamath County where KCSO served several search warrants. BINET detectives investigated further into the large drug trafficking organization and learned of the warehouse production area in Klamath Falls. The illegal marijuana operation was operating under the guise of “hemp” production; however, on site testing of the drying marijuana product in the warehouse indicated it was high THC marijuana and not hemp.
The approximate 20,550 square foot warehouse (300 block of Martin Street), was filled with drying and processed marijuana, as well as tents and temporary living quarters for the 28 workers who were detained on site and later released after they were identified. Two small drug endangered children were also living inside the warehouse with their parents who were working as trimmers for the illegal marijuana production. DHS Child Welfare responded to the scene and investigated the child welfare concerns. Approximately 17,600 pounds of mostly processed marijuana buds were seized and destroyed at the Klamath County Waste Management Landfill. The unlicensed marijuana had a black-market street value of over twenty million dollars.
The Klamath Falls City Streets Division as well as Klamath County Solid Waste Management and the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search warrant service and illegal marijuana evidence processing and destruction.
One facilitator was cited and released on site for felony Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana and additional charges on other suspects will be referred to the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office.
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.