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Tips Help Interagency Drug Team Arrest Multiple Suspects in Josephine County
Sergeant Jim Johnson
RADE / OSP Drug Enforcement Section
Office: (541) 955-6379

Photograph from ROPER case valid for 30 days - Source: RADE
Recent ongoing investigations during the past few months by the interagency Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) team have led to the arrest of multiple suspects and seizure of drugs, guns and money. To protect the integrity of ongoing investigations information related to 3 cases is now able to be released by RADE - an interagency narcotics team comprised of members from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Oregon State Police, Josephine County District Attorney's Office, and the Josephine County Community Corrections.
"These three cases are clear examples of the value of tips, whether anonymous or not, that help your law enforcement agencies stop criminal activity and solve crimes in our community," said OSP Sergeant Jim Johnson, RADE team supervisor.
On February 23, 2009, RADE team members working in conjunction with the Department of Human Services contacted MARTY AUSTIN, age 32, at 711 NW Burgess Street, Grants Pass, in response to a tip that marijuana was being distributed from her residence where children resided. AUSTIN was contacted as she was loading her belongs into a U-Haul truck to move to Arizona. Subsequent investigation led to a consensual search and finding of marijuana at the residence, her personal vehicle and the U-Haul truck. Detectives also seized other evidence including packaging material and firearms. AUSTIN was arrested for Unlawful Possession and Delivery of Marijuana and subsequently released to appear in Josephine County Circuit Court. The Josephine County District Attorney's Office will review the case for possible additional charges.
In a second case, a marijuana distribution tip provided to RADE detectives resulted in the discovery of an indoor marijuana growing operation in the Cave Junction area. On March 3, 2009, detectives from RADE, Josephine County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police contacted the residence at 9054 Caves Highway and two residents identified as ALEX VAUGHT, age 38, and MELISA VAUGHT, age 26.
Subsequent investigation and search led to the discovery of an indoor marijuana growing operation consisting of 21 mature marijuana plants, 25 smaller marijuana plants, grow lights, and other evidence associated with a growing operation. Additionally, scales, packaging materials, miscellaneous documents, two firearms, processed marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, ecstasy, and $4,980 cash reportedly from the sale of two pounds of marijuana. Both individuals were subsequently arrested for Unlawful Manufacturing, Possession, and Delivery of Marijuana. Both were later released to appear in Josephine County Circuit court on the charges and the Josephine County District Attorney's Office will review the case for additional charges of related to the unlawful possession of psilocybin mushrooms and ecstasy. Investigators anticipate additional arrests.
In a third unrelated case, RADE detectives followed up on another marijuana distribution tip that resulted in the discovery of an indoor marijuana operation in the Selma area. On March 5, 2009, RADE detectives and Oregon State Police troopers contacted WILLIAM ROPER, age 51, at his residence at 265 E. McMullen Creek Road in Selma.
A subsequent investigation and search led to the discovery and seizure of an indoor marijuana growing operation, 16 firearms (four of which had been reported stolen), thousands of rounds of ammunition, an outside electronic security system, scales, packaging material, approximately four pounds of marijuana packaged for resale, methamphetamine, $2,400 cash, and other evidence. ROPER was subsequently taken into custody and later released to appear in Josephine County Circuit Court. He was indicted on the following charges:
  • Unlawful Possession, Manufacturing, and Distribution of Marijuana
  • Sixteen (16) counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm
  • Four (4) counts of Theft in the First Degree
  • One count of Criminal Forfeiture
Anyone with information regarding suspicious drug activity or outdoor marijuana growing operations is encouraged to call the RADE tip line at (541) 955-6970.