Prineville couple arrested after illicit marijuana grow operation investigation in Crook County
Prineville, OR-On Wednesday, May 11th, 2022, detectives with the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team concluded a long-term investigation involving illicit indoor marijuana growing operations at several locations around Crook County. The investigation alleges a Prineville couple selling black market marijuana products outside of Oregon and from “Herbology”, a retail nursery supply store in Prineville, not licensed to sell, export or grow cannabis.
On May 11th, 2022, at approximately 11:00 AM, CODE detectives, with the assistance of the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team, executed multiple Search Warrants on the home of Robert and Fawn Griffin (age 48 and age 46, both of Prineville, OR), a commercial indoor growing facility and their retail store. As a result, detectives located approximately 1880 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, 168 lbs of processed marijuana, over $20,000 in US currency, three rifles, and two pistols. Detectives also discovered a complex money laundering scheme involving real estate and structured banking transactions.
Both Robert and Fawn Griffin were detained by the CERT team and later arrested by detectives at the scene.
The possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal for recreational use in Oregon. However, large, unlicensed marijuana operations remain illegal. Due to these unregulated operations, they pose dangers to the public and the environment.
The Griffin’s commercial grown operation was located in residential area of Juniper Canyon, an unincorporated area of Crook County. Most of the residents in this area are dependent on the ground or well water for their households. In March 2022, Governor Brown declared Crook County to be in extreme drought conditions and struggling with consistent groundwater sources.
Investigators have found illegal marijuana grows diverted or stolen significant water from nearby homes, commercial farms, or directly from pumps connected to underground sources in the arid central Oregon high desert. This particular grow site used underground well water and maintained a complex watering system that supplied marijuana production. Additionally, Illegal marijuana farms often use pesticides and insecticides that threaten residential water supplies and endanger the end user.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Robert J Griffin and Fawn Griffin were arrested and lodged with the Crook County Sheriff’s Jail with the following charges; Unlawful Delivery of Marijuana and Unlawful Manufacturing of Marijuana, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana and Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Robert only). Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues
The Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Prineville Police Department, Oregon State Police assisted with the investigation, eradication, and dismantling of this site.
CONTACT FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp, 541-550-4869 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts, and dismantles local, multi-state, and international drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven, multi-agency, prosecutor-supported approach. CODE is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program and the following Central Oregon law enforcement agencies: Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Police Department, Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Madras Police Department, Oregon State Police, Sunriver Police Department, Black Butte Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Warm Springs Tribal Police Department, Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson County District Attorney’s, and the Oregon National Guard.
The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement task forces, including the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team.
If you are aware of controlled substance violations in your community, please submit your anonymous tip through the DEA online tip-line HERE.