Legal marijuana operation was found to be in violation because a hired worker didn’t have a grow card
Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement investigators cited two men on felony marijuana charges after it was found a medical marijuana garden operator illegally hired a man to tend to his crop.
MADGE investigators were called to the house in the 1400 block of Andrew Drive on Tuesday to look for evidence of an illegal marijuana garden.
They found marijuana growing in a backyard greenhouse and inside the home. The search yielded 62 mature plants, 104 starter plants, 13 pounds of usable marijuana and 12 pounds of dried marijuana. The house also contained $4,355 in cash believed to be proceeds from drug trafficking, MADGE Lt. Brett Johnson said.
The resident, Garland Duane Winkle, 53, claimed the garden was within Oregon Medical Marijuana Program guidelines. He said he served 20 cardholders.
Johnson said the garden was within the 20-card limits, but had violated OMMP guidelines because Winkle had hired a man who did not have a marijuana card to maintain the garden.
“If you veer outside the guidelines then the entire grow operation becomes illegal,” Johnson said. “You take your garden out of legal boundaries if you break the law.”
Winkle reportedly hired Richard Bradley Seegmiller, 23, of the 200 block of South Fifth Street in Central Point, to help process the marijuana.
Winkle and Seegmiller were cited for possession and manufacture of marijuana.
The entire garden was seized by MADGE and placed in storage until the case is adjudicated, Johnson said.
Johnson said medical marijuana providers should take pains to become familiar with the OMMP and state marijuana laws.
“We know that there are a lot of gardens that hire people without cards to work on processing marijuana,” Johnson said. “If you do that, you are operating outside the law. You just can’t have anyone come work on your medical marijuana garden.”
The Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team is a multijurisdictional drug and gang task force supported by the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area ( HIDTA ) Program and the following law enforcement agencies: Medford Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Oregon State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jackson County District Attorney’s Office and Jackson County Community Justice.