Skip to comments.Deputies shoot and kill man guarding pot garden (Mexican Cartels)
Posted on 08/12/2010 9:23:10 AM PDT by AuntB
Jackson County sheriff's deputies on Wednesday shot and killed an armed man guarding a marijuana garden deep in the woods north of Sams Valley.
The sheriff's SWAT team was searching for the garden on BLM property at around 7 a.m. when they encountered a man armed with a loaded shotgun, law enforcement authorities said.
Two deputies fired at the man, who is described as a Hispanic adult...
A SWAT medic performed emergency aid on the man but he died at the scene, OSP said.
After the shooting, deputies spotted a second man fleeing the area. He disappeared in the woods. It is not known if he was armed, OSP said.
The SWAT team believes the marijuana garden belongs to a Mexican drug cartel, OSP said.
Cartels are large-scale criminal organizations based in Mexico that deal in weapons and drugs.
The forests in Northern California and Southern Oregon are popular with the cartels for their marijuana operations.
U.S. Department of Justice's National Drug Intelligence Center reported that the number of plants removed from public lands soared more than 300 percent from 2004 to 2008, primarily at pot gardens of Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. The cartels favor public land because its remoteness can limit detection....
Southern Oregon sheriff's departments gave U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., a helicopter tour of the area's vasts forests. The trip, documented in Sunday's Mail Tribune, showed hundreds of illegal marijuana gardens sprinkled throughout Southern Oregon.
The sheriff's agencies are asking the federal government for additional funds to eradicate illegal marijuana farms.
Sheriff's deputies in Lake County, Calif., shot and killed a man last week who was guarding a marijuana garden...
The sheriff's department found a weapon cache and a 10,000-plant garden near where the man was shot. He later was identified as 51-year-old Juan Sanchez Corona.
(Excerpt) Read more at mailtribune.com ...
For all the talk that Mexico is trying to stop these criminals, you can be sure they will raise a stink over shooting this one, as they do every time.
Another recent article on this:
Marijuana Growing Problem In Oregon Forests
POSTED: 10:13 pm PDT August 8, 2010 MEDFORD, Ore. -- As the helicopter raced over the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Saturday morning, the pilot explained his rationale for flying low and fast.
"We try to fly about 300 feet above the ground," said the Jackson County Sheriff's deputy. "It's better than at high altitude. This way you are only a target for a few seconds."
Folks who grow marijuana on federal forestland have been known to take shots at unwanted visitors, he will tell you.
He and the copilot --both of whom asked not to be named or photographed because of the sensitivity of their work -- were flying U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, to Gold Beach to discuss the growing marijuana problem on federal land with a team of drug fighters called Southern Oregon Multi-Agency Marijuana Eradication and Reclamation or SOMMER.
En route, the deputies pointed out sites where patches of marijuana plants had been confiscated in the mountains overlooking the Applegate Valley. Most of the raided patches resembled clear cuts from the air.
The pot isn't just on federal land: the helicopter flew over countless marijuana plants growing behind tall fences adjacent to homes in Jackson and Josephine counties, which one of the deputies described as "pseudo medical marijuana" patches. Some of the sites had more than two dozen plants that look like oversized tomato plants from above.
But the pilot steered clear of what he described as two active "cartel grows" on federal land farther into the flight, noting he didn't want to tip off the growers.
A "grow" refers to an illegal marijuana patch. "Cartel" is a reference to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations which law enforcement officials say are now involved in growing marijuana on federal land in the region.
To a man, the seven sheriffs in the group organized by Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters urged Walden for more funding to beef up their departments, which have been hit hard by budget cuts over the years.
Unlike domestic pot operations of years past, many of the plantations now growing on federal land are operated by Mexican drug-trafficking organizations who are well-financed and well-armed, the sheriffs said.
"The longer it goes on, the harder it will be for us to overcome," Winters told Walden. "They are better funded than us ... There are more of them than there are of us."
In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice's National Drug Intelligence Center's 2010 national drug threat assessment released in February reported that the number of plants removed from public land grew more than 300 percent from 2004 to 2008, primarily from pot gardens operated by Mexican drug cartels. The pot growers favor public land because of its remoteness and because it can't be seized or traced to an owner, the report said.
A separate 2008 NDIC report on cartel-related drug-trafficking organizations said the Federation cartel was active in Klamath Falls, and undetermined cartels were working in Medford and Roseburg.
To consolidate law-enforcement efforts, Winters came up with the SOMMER project and received a $202,000 federal grant to find, investigate, remove and clean up marijuana gardens on federal land this summer. Other counties participating in SOMMER include Josephine, Curry, Coos, Douglas, Klamath and Lake.
The seven counties pulled out more than 55,000 pot plants from federal land in 2009, with nearly 30,000 of them coming from Jackson County.
The Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, the Drug Enforcement Administration operation that funded SOMMER, reported earlier this year that pot plantations on federal land in Oregon, California and Washington are among the biggest producers in the nation.
After observing one eradicated pot plantation after another during the flight, Walden concluded to no one in particular, "We used to grow timber."
The congressman, who told the sheriffs he would do everything he could to help their cause, is urging U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to increase their efforts to stop pot growing on federal lands. Vilsack oversees the Forest Service, while Salazar is in charge of the Bureau of Land Management.
In a separate letter to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Walden asked for increased assistance from both the Oregon National Guard and the state police in helping stop the illegal drug operations.
"These growing operations are typically guarded largely by armed foreign nationals, who pose a direct and dangerous threat to ranchers, hikers and anyone enjoying our public lands," Walden warned in the letters.
The Justice Department's 2010 national drug threat assessment concluded the operations "constitute the greatest drug-trafficking threat" to the nation, he added.
Like Winters, Curry County Sheriff John Bishop told Walden that his deputies are spread very thin, although working together through SOMMER has boosted their combined resources.
But overtime and flight time eats into their extremely tight budgets, Bishop said.
"We are getting into country now where we can't expect our guys to hike in there in 120-degree weather, cut the plants, haul that out and then haul out the trash and toxins and all that," he said. "We've got to have helos, and that is expensive."
Helicopters enable law enforcement officers to hit more "grows" per week, an activity that averages about three patches a week during this time of year, Winters told the congressman.
"In the old days, when we used to hike in with the steep terrain and everything, our guys were wiped out," he said, adding they were lucky to hit one patch a week.
"And there is so much more dope now," he added. "You aren't dealing with just a few plants now. You are dealing with grows that have 5,000 plants."
In 2009, his department assisted law enforcement officers just across the state line in Siskiyou County, Calif., raiding a patch which had 200,000 plants, Winters said.
"We've picked up our efficiency and are doing the best we can but we don't have enough people," Winters said. "Most of us are half-staffed or losing people."
"Consolidation is absolutely the only way to combat this we just don't have the resources," stressed Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.
Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said departments can't hire law enforcement officers on a seasonal basis to eradicate pot on federal land.
"These are guys you are pulling off the street to handle this work," Evinger said. "So you have to pay them overtime or go short on shifts."
In answer to a question by Walden, all the sheriffs said the lion's share of the illegal pot patches they are eradicating are on federal land. They also observed that using federal funds literally ties them up in red tape.
"The cartels shouldn't be able to do business easier than us," Winters said at one point.
While the sheriffs were quick to tell Walden the Forest Service and BLM work with them, they asked for more federal help.
"It's already a collective effort," Winters said. "We need them to come in and help us a little more. It's their land.
"The problem we get into as county sheriffs, we have to protect our people from county line to county line," he added. "They recreate, fish and hunt out there. So we end up having that responsibility whether we like it or not."
Noting the cartels use money raised from pot to fund other criminal activities, the sheriffs said they often find gang members and others manning the illegal patches.
"Now they are going in with weapons and camping," Bishop said. "It is more dangerous going into gardens now than anytime in the 24 years I've been in law enforcement."
I beg your pardon
I didn’t promise you a Pot garden
Along with the sunshine
You gotta rain a little lead sometime
do do do do do
Awww, that's a shame.
Good! However, there are a LOT more to go after. Keep it up.
1 down and thousands to go....they swarm the hills in Washington State also. They are known to booby-trap their pot gardens.
yes. ah darn . . . NOT! Keep it up boys. Too bad the second got away.
SWAT? The guard never knew what hit him. There was no announcement, just a scoped sniper shot through the trees.
A SWAT medic performed emergency aid on the man but he died at the scene, OSP said.
LOL - THAT was the second shot!
Does Eric Holder know that these Sheriff’s Deputies are enforcing federal law?!?!?
Interesting that they didn’t mention giving the “guard” a chance to surrender or that the “guard” made any threatening moves.
I’m pretty sure they can’t just whack a guy standing there w a shotgun.
Only growing the pot that Americans won’t grow...
Super CAS training operation.
“Interesting that they didnt mention giving the guard a chance to surrender or that the guard made any threatening moves.
Im pretty sure they cant just whack a guy standing there w a shotgun”
Other reports stated that the ‘Hispanic’ started shooting the shotgun at officers.
Maybe better early surveillance and investigation to nip the problem in the bud? I know its big country but surely some locals see things going on. Stop the grows before the plants are fully grown and difficult to remove. If that does not work call out the Guard b/c this is nothing short of invasion by a foreign country. This is what our loosely guarded southern borders with Messxico have brought us.
Support from the Fed isn’t going to be much as this criminal Administration prefers a drugged up populace dependent on the nanny state as opposed to awake and armed patriots who love their country.
Start hunting at the top and work your way down, instead of starting at the bottom and working up. Get the kingpins first, then their midlevel guys...
“1 down and thousands to go....they swarm the hills in Washington State also. They are known to booby-trap their pot gardens.”
Just a few days ago, I posted another similar article...several freepers showed up to tell me it was all made up...this doesn’t go on. Then they carried on insisting that So. Oregon/No Calif isn’t part of the Pacific NW. Amazing, eh?
BTW, here are photos from these pot grows given to me by our local sheriff...YEARS ago.
The Mexican border has moved 800 miles north-
“Does Eric Holder know that these Sheriffs Deputies are enforcing federal law?!?!?”
Great question. Instead of sending them help, he’ll probably come down on them for doing just that.
“Maybe better early surveillance and investigation to nip the problem in the bud? I know its big country but surely some locals see things going on. Stop the grows before the plants are fully grown and difficult to remove.”
They find these grows by air. They can’t be spotted until there is major growth. You have to be here to realize how remote these areas are....’protected public lands’, if you will.
“Start hunting at the top and work your way down, instead of starting at the bottom and working up. Get the kingpins first, then their midlevel guys...”
The big guys are in MEXICO!
“SWAT? The guard never knew what hit him. There was no announcement, just a scoped sniper shot through the trees.”
No, you’re assuming that. The Mexican was shooting at the officers. No ‘sniper’.
1 down...50,000 to go.....
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