Yamhill County Pot Farm Seized
More than 6,500 marijuana plants with a value of over $9 million were seized this week when the Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team (YCINT) broke up a grow operation that was found in Dayton on wetlands near the Willamette River.
It was determined to be part of a Mexican drug trafficking organization, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday morning.
The two-month investigation ended with the arrest of 42-year-old Manuel Madrigal. Law Enforcement officials say he had set up an elaborate living area hidden under a tarp, complete with a kitchen.
Madrigal, 42, of San Antonio, Texas, was taken into custody on site and arrested on federal drug trafficking charges. He was turned over to U.S. Marshals in Portland. He has a history of previous drug arrests.
“This is a good example of the dangers that we continue to face in Oregon, even though marijuana is legal in certain quantities,” said Sheriff Tim Svenson, who chairs the YCINT Board.
“There is still a profit to be made in marijuana by these illegal organizations. As long as this continues we will need to remain diligent in our investigations to keep this money from being routed to other areas of criminal activity.”
This is the first large-scale Mexican DTO marijuana grow operation located in Yamhill County in several years, according to Svenson.
Historically, these grows have been located on public lands in the mountains of western Yamhill County, and were difficult to access due to steep, dangerous terrain, he said. This shows a shift in tactics by the drug trafficking organizations.
In addition to OSP, the drug team was also assisted by the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, McMinnville police and Drug Enforcement Administration.
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