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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Mexican cartels blamed for Southern Oregon pot grows

    Mexican cartels blamed for Southern Oregon pot grows

    06:23 PM PDT on Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    Associated Press

    Authorities say four men arrested in the course of raids on pot farms hidden in Southern Oregon forests this week are part of a Mexican drug cartel that is growing pot for national distribution.

    In recent days teams of state police, Jackson County deputies, and federal agents have cut some 42,000 marijuana plants potentially worth more than $100 million from sites near Applegate Lake about 20 miles southwest of Medford, authorities said.

    "I guess we provide a remote area where they can conceal some of their crops," said Capt. Lee Fox, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement agent. "It's going to be a tough battle for the foreseeable future."

    The investigation goes back two years, when a U.S. Bureau of Land Management special agent found a cell phone at a campsite at a marijuana plot in Jackson County, according to an affidavit filed by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency special agent in U.S. District Court.

    Phone records revealed calls to Genaro Zaragoza-Infante in Medford, and he was put under surveillance, the affidavit said.

    On June 28, employees at a Home Depot store tipped authorities that some men had bought a lot of fertilizer, an agent spotted Zaragoza-Infante on a security camera tape, the affidavit said.

    Zaragoza-Infante as also tailed July 2 to an irrigation supply store, where he bought supplies.

    On Aug. 6, investigators hiding near trails leading to some marijuana plots videotaped two men, one carrying a white plastic bag and the other a rifle, who exchanged some items with other men in a pickup truck.

    Police arrested the three men in the pickup, identified as Zaragoza-Infante, Timoteo Hernandez-Guzman, 46, and Angel Cardenas-Estrada, 20, on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

    In a dawn raid last Friday, authorities netted 32,000 marijuana plants from two plantations, and found two armed men. One got away, but the other was arrested. Jose Guadalupe Gomez-Gonzalez, 22, told agents that he was paid $1,500 a day to tend the plants.

    Agents returned Tuesday to the woods near Applegate Lake, where they removed up to 10,000 more marijuana plants.

    All four men were being held without bail on immigration holds, authorities said. ... 7796.html#
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  2. #2
    Senior Member SOSADFORUS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Those mountains are a perfect place to grow that stuff because Oregon gets alot of rain and they don't have to worry about irrigation.

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