Millions of dollars in pot confiscated from illegal trafficking ring in Johnson County
A huge pot bust in Johnston County has led to the arrest of dozens and authorities are still investigating
COLEMAN, Oklahoma (KXII) - Johnston County deputies say they recovered anywhere between 30 to 60 million dollars of marijuana Thursday, from a facility they say was operating illegally.
Deputies told News 12 it started as traffic stop in Wapanucka, where they confiscated close to $83,0000 and some marijuana. The investigation then led deputies to a warehouse, on state Highway 48, just south of Coleman. When they got to the property, they found millions of dollars in illegal marijuana.
“This is a large industrial grow,” said Johnston County Sheriff Gary Dodd. “Right now, we’re looking at close to 20 thousand plants- that’s several hundred dollars worth of product. Then, if you add the vehicles found on the property and the property itself all of this, is proceeds of an illegal drug operation.”
Johnston County deputies called in agents from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics, when they realized just how big the pot bust was.
Over a dozen people arrested in the first how of the raid and authorities expect more arrests to come.
“This place was operating illegally, they do not have a license to grow or distribute medical marijuana,” Sheriff Dodd said. “We have found that they do have a license through the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority however, through our investigation, it appears they obtained that license through fraudulent means.”
Sheriff Dodd says because each suspect was of Chinese decent, he believes this ring could be part of international drug trafficking. Their preliminary investigation showed some of the workers are in the country illegally.
“This marijuana is going to the black market, more than likely being trafficked out of state onto the black market or the black market here in Oklahoma,” Dodd said.
He says not only were they illegally growing and distributing, and they were also not following safe farming practices.
“Herbicides and pesticides just thrown into dumps where water is pooled, so animals could come drink it or if it rains it could get into the stream, so we’ve got some major environmental concerns going on here too,” Dodd said.
Sheriff Dodd says the case is still under investigation and believes there are at least two more suspects involved in this illegal drug trafficking sting.
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