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OSP Traffic Stop Leads to Second Large Marijuana Seizure at OMMP Registered Address in Josephine County
11/10/2009
Sergeant Jim Johnson
OSP Drug Enforcement Section
(541) 955-6379

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Sources:
Oregon State Police
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Josephine County Sheriff's Office
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Six people are facing charges following a recent Oregon State Police (OSP) traffic stop in southern Oregon that led to a second significant marijuana seizure at a confirmed registered address for growing marijuana under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. OSP Drug Enforcement Section detectives and the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) team subsequently seized approximately 220 lbs. of unlawfully possessed marijuana, firearms, ballistic vests, ammunition and over $10,000 cash associated with the ongoing investigation.
 
This investigation started with a traffic stop on November 3, 2009 when an OSP trooper stopped a vehicle displaying California license plates northbound on Interstate 5 near Ashland for a traffic violation. Subsequent investigation by the trooper led to the male driver admitting to being enroute to an outdoor marijuana growing operation in Josephine County with $9,100 cash to buy 3 lbs. of marijuana. Charges may be pending against the driver who was not arrested at the time.
 
OSP Drug Enforcement Section detectives and the RADE team were contacted for assistance and later that date executed a search warrant on Dreamhill Drive in the Applegate area of Josephine County. Detectives found evidence reflecting a large scale marijuana growing operation capable of producing hundreds of pounds of marijuana. Also found at the location was approximately 240 lbs. of marijuana, including multiple pounds pre-packaged for sale; twelve firearms (including assault rifles); large amound of ammunition; two ballistic vests; and, approximately $1,100 cash.
 
Detectives also found three people inside the residence trimming marijuana for later distribution. The three people did not live at the residence and were identified as AARON WEBB, age 41; COURTNEY ANTRIM-WEBB, age 36; and, RODNEY CAZEL, age 44, all from California.
 
While detectives were at the residence, arriving in a Cadillac Escalade were the two unemployed homeowners identified as DARREN APPLEGATE, age 41, and LAUREL APPLEGATE, age 41. They were confirmed as registered growers under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) and admitted they were growing for eleven "patients." DARREN and LAUREL APPLEGATE were both lodged in Josephine County Jail on multiple charges. They were released pending an appearance in Josephine County Circuit Court.
 
The other three listed individuals, and a fourth person not named, are also facing felony charges in Josephine County Circuit Court.

 
The legal amount of usable marijuana that can be possessed by registered growers under the OMMP for 11 patients would total 16.5 pounds. The additional over 220 pounds of marijuana seized from the residence had a conservative estimated value of $556,250.
 
In late October, another OSP traffic stop led to a RADE team investigation and the seizure of over 200 pounds of marijuana in Josephine County. Two of the three people were confirmed registered growers under the OMMP and they were charged in relation to that ongoing investigation. Estimated value of the seized marijuana in this incident was approximately $450,000.

 
RADE is an interagency narcotics team comprised of personnel from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section, Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Josephine County District Attorney's Office, and the Josephine County Community Corrections. Also assisting in this investigation were detectives from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety and troopers from the Oregon State Police Drug Detection Canine program.

 
Anyone with information regarding suspicious drug activity or marijuana growing operations in Josephine County is encouraged to call the RADE tip line at (541) 955-6970.