BLANCHARD, Okla. (KFOR) – McClain County Sheriff’s Office deputies made a surprising discovery while serving an eviction notice at a facility in Blanchard last week.
“Oh yeah, a little shocked… Discovered an illegal grow operation, marijuana grow operation,” said Sheriff Landy Offolter. “Once they discovered it, we backed up and got a search warrant,
served a search warrant and found over 1,800 marijuana plants.”
According to the sheriff, it was the second time in less than a year that an illegal grow facility has been shut down at that same building, located on S. State Highway 76.
This time, all 1,800 plants were seized, but the owners of the grow have not been arrested yet.
“There were some workers that we did detain, but we found out that they were just picking up some equipment, so we released them,” said Sheriff Offolter.
Mark Woodward, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), said this was just one of at least ten busts the agency has assisted on in the last week or so.
“Well, it’s just something that’s becoming just routine for our agency,” said Woodward. “We’re getting calls from New York to South Carolina to Florida, from law enforcement, saying that Oklahoma is now their number one supplier of black-market marijuana.”
Another bust OBN assisted on happened just yesterday.
“We hit five different farms down in Pontotoc County,” said Woodward.
In those raids, agents confiscated a total of 40,000 marijuana plants along with 3,000 pounds of processed marijuana packaged for transport. Agents with OBN made three arrests and say more are possible.
Woodward added that it’s imperative to weed out of the criminals behind the operations because of how dangerous they can be.
“They are violent criminal organizations who are also moving people, weapons, meth, cocaine, heroin,” said Woodward. “These people who are involved in this have just as much money to lose and are going to do what they can and what they need to do to protect it.”