On Friday, September 18, Agents with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) shut down an illegal marijuana growing operation in Creek County.
In a Facebook post on the official OBN Facebook Page, OBN says agents developed information from a tip and located approximately 1,000 plants growing on several acres in a heavily wooded area near Depew, Oklahoma. OBN Spokesman Mark Woodward says there was plenty of evidence to show this was not a commercially licensed medical marijuana business.
“This illegal operation included a campsite and several indicators that resemble previous patches located by OBN involving teams of Hispanic cultivators living on-site and growing for Mexican drug trafficking organizations,” Woodward said.
Woodward says that medical marijuana cultivation is legal here in Oklahoma, but that it hasn’t eliminated the black market. He says his agency won’t allow Oklahoma to become a ‘safe haven’ for bad actors. “There are thousands of legitimate businesses working hard to follow the rules,” he said.
In a phone call with Sapulpa Times, Woodward said that most of the time, it’s not campsite operations like these that are being charged by OBN. “Most of our problems are licensed [medical marijuana] businesses that have let their license expire, or maybe they got their OMMA (Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority) license, but didn’t realize they also needed to get one from us,” he said. “If it’s an honest mistake, we’ll work with them.”
Multiple agencies were involved in assisting OBN with the investigation, including Bristow PD, Creek County Sheriff’s Department, Creek Nation Light Horse PD, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and the Creek County District Attorney’s Office.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is on-going. Those responsible for this illegal growing operation will face charges of criminal marijuana cultivation. Citizens can report suspected illegal growing operations to OBN at 1-800-522-8031.