On Tuesday, August 23, detectives along with the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT) enforced a search warrant at a residence in the 4,000 block of Dole Road, Myrtle Creek. This was another large scale illegal operations like they have been repeatedly encountering in the area, often times owned and operated by foreign drug cartels. This particular location was raided twice by DINT in 2013, also for illegal marijuana operations.
DINT detectives arrived at the location and found several large greenhouses completely surrounding the residence, full of live marijuana plants, as well as the hillsides around the residence terraced with hundreds of growing marijuana plants. The residence was being used as sleeping quarters and work area for a large scale commercial operation. The adjacent shop area was being used as an indoor growing area as well as marijuana processing area. Once again there were major water use violations, dangerous electrical code violations, as well as environmental wreckage from misuse of pesticides and fertilizers. These issues have been common problems with these unlawful grow sites.
In total, DINT seized 2,154 live marijuana plants, and 1,900 pounds of processed marijuana ready for market. No one was located on the property at the time of the search warrant, but the investigation is continuing and arrests are anticipated.
A tip in the form of a photograph indicated that a black Nissan Frontier may have had some involvement with the operation, and while DINT was executing its warrant, a detective spotted a similar-looking vehicle slowly approaching the property. The Nissan turned around and started heading back down the driveway, leading to a pursuit northbound on Willis Creek Road. Nearing a dead end, the Nissan reportedly pulled a U-turn and began traveling south back toward Raleigh Drive.
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The Nissan ultimately pulled off onto a gravel pullout, where the driver was identified as Jesus Manuel Martinez Munguia, age 31. The passenger, Ezequiel Martinez Garcia, 42, was also detained.
Garcia then reportedly asked the investigator if he was “in a little bit of trouble or a lot of trouble,” then followed with expletives which the investigator wrote “appeared to be out of frustration that he listened to his ‘friend’ in the first place to come to Oregon and grow marijuana.”
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The passenger of the Nissan, Munguia, told investigators through an interpreter that he had been staying on the property for “about a month,” but that his truck and trailer were used to haul soil and other materials to the grow site. Munguia claimed that he would use his personal credit card to purchase the materials on the promise of being reimbursed.
Both men were lodged in the Douglas County Jail Tuesday, but had been released as of Wednesday afternoon. The News-Review was unable to confirm a reason for their release after reaching out to both DINT and the District Attorney’s Office.