Month-long multi-agency campaign seizes 41,000 lbs of marijuana - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Month-long multi-agency campaign seizes 41,000 lbs of marijuana from illegal grows

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EPHRATA, Wash. -

An organized multi-agency campaign between Grant, Franklin and Adams Counties has resulted in the seizure of41,000 lbs of illegal marijuana, 56 illegal guns, ammunition and many hazardous chemicals. Deputies say 24 people were arrested in the series of busts spanning from early August to the end of September.

The statistics across thirty-six Grant County Sheriff’s Office reports include:

• 27 search warrants;
• 24 arrests;
• 56 illegal guns and a tremendous amount of ammunition including magazines for automatic, semi-automatic and assault rifles;
• Over 41,000 pounds of marijuana in plant or packaged form;
• $55K in cash;
• Numerous vehicles, backhoes;
• And large quantities of hazardous chemicals including fertilizers and pesticides.

Coordinated by Grant County's Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET), the campaign crackdown uncovered and dismantled illegal grow operations in all areas of Grant County including Ephrata, George, Mattawa, Moses Lake, Quincy, Soap Lake, Schwana, Warden, and Wheeler. The campaign also included warrants in Othello, Adams County and Mesa in Franklin County.

 The investigation also uncovered a tactic where illegal growers, posing as legal growers with appropriate-looking documentation that was in fact fake, were leasing land space from unsuspecting landowners.

Sheriff Tom Jones said in a release Monday, “It’s important for our landowners to understand that more due diligence is needed on their part. With the legalization of marijuana in Washington State, the former illegal grows hidden in the hills are now down in our communities but with no less criminal intent.” 

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