October 11, 2012
Sergeant Dan Conner
OSP Drug Enforcement Section
An over year-long investigation into the unlawful manufacture and distribution of marijuana allegedly involving a Grant County resident led to the execution of search warrants by several law enforcement agencies Wednesday morning at two locations in Grant and Malheur counties. The main suspect was arrested and additional arrests are pending, but because this is an ongoing investigation no other information is to be released at this time.
According to Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section Sergeant Dan Conner, during the early morning hours of October 10, 2012, law enforcement officers simultaneously served search warrants at two separate locations both connected to the investigation. The first location was in Grant County at 345 W. 2nd Street in Long Creek. The second location was in Malheur County at 2456 Highway 20 near Vale.
Subsequent to the ongoing investigation, detectives from the OSP Drug Enforcement Section (DES) and Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team (BENT) arrested DAVID DEAN VERSTOPPEN, age 57, from Long Creek, for Unlawful Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance - Marijuana. He was lodged in the Grant County Jail.
During the execution of the search warrant at the indoor Long Creek location, law enforcement officers seized numerous marijuana plants up to 6 feet tall, several pounds of processed marijuana, and firearms.
During the execution of the search warrant at the Vale-area outdoor grow location law enforcement officers seized approximately 95 marijuana plants with average height of 6 feet, several pounds of processed marijuana, and firearms.
The following law enforcement agencies and District Attorney Offices were involved in the ongoing investigation:
* Oregon State Police Marijuana Eradication Team
* Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section
* Oregon State Police Patrol and Fish & Wildlife Divisions
* Drug Enforcement Administration (Portland and Boise offices)
* Department of Justice HITDA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area)
* Grant County Sheriff's Office
* Malheur County Sheriff's Office
* Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team (BENT - comprised of detectives from Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section, Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, Morrow County Sheriff's Office, Pendleton Police Department, Hermiston Police Department, Milton-Freewater Police Department, Umatilla Tribal Police Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration)
* Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team (BCNET - comprised of Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section, Baker County Sheriff's Office, and Baker City Police Department)
* Union/Wallowa County Drug Task Force (comprised of detectives from Union County Sheriff's Office, Wallowa County Sheriff's Office, and La Grande Police Department)
* HIDTA Interdiction Team
* John Day Police Department
* Grant County District Attorney's Office
* Malheur County District Attorney's Office