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Multi-State Marijuana Investigation Leads to Arrests and Over 225 lbs. of Marijuana in Southern Oregon
Sergeant Jim Johnson
Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement Section / RADE
(541) 955-6379

A one month multi-agency, multi-state investigation led to 3 southern Oregon locations and the seizure of over 225 lbs. of marijuana with ties to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). Three people were arrested and additional arrests are pending in the ongoing investigation involving federal, state and local investigators from Oregon and Minnesota.
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Drug Enforcement Section Sergeant Jim Johnson, about one month ago the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension contacted Oregon authorities regarding a marijuana investigation that had ties to southern Oregon. The ongoing investigation involved the following agencies:
  • OSP Drug Enforcement Section
  • Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) Team
  • Medford Area Drug & Gang Enforcement (MADGE) Team
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • OSP Patrol and Criminal Divisions, along with OSP Arson & Explosives Section
  • Medford Police Department detectives
  • Grants Pass Department of Public Safety detectives
  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
On December 17, 2009, an undercover officer purchased 65 pounds of marijuana from two subjects in a restaurant parking lot in Grants Pass, which subsequently led to the execution of three search warrants in Josephine and Jackson counties as part of the investigation. All three locations are connected with OMMP.
At the first location located in the 100 block of Sheraton Drive in Williams, investigators searched a residence and seized approximately 11 lbs. of marijuana. Evidence associated with marijuana distribution was also seized. One person identified as ROBERT BELL, age 46, was arrested on drug-related charges.
The other two locations were located in the 2500 block of Eastside Road in Jacksonville. At one of the residences investigators seized approximately 131 lbs. of marijuana, three firearms and other evidence. One person identified as PEDRO GAVALIZ, age 49, was arrested on drug-related charges. At the second residence, investigators discovered a sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation. Seized were 48 mature marijuana plants, approximately 20 lbs. of processed and packaged marijuana, six firearms (including two assault rifles), miscellaneous items of evidence and cash. One person leaving the residence when investigators arrived was arrested. JACOB THOMPSON, age 26, was found in possession of 6 ounces of marijuana and a firearm. Additional arrests are pending associated with both Eastside Road locations.
Seized marijuana has an estimated value of over $750,000.
"This is an excellent example of law enforcement agencies, inside and outside Oregon, combining resources to aggressively identify and arrest those responsible for the distribution of illegal narcotics in our local communities," said Johnson.