WAGONER COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma authorities are continuing to conduct illegal marijuana busts across the state daily. Recently, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office seized 72,000 pounds of illegal weed found hidden inside a barn in Wagoner County.
Investigators say the weed was destined for the black market.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force is cracking down on illegal marijuana operations across the state.
The Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office, along with other county officials, assisted in the bust and said it took hours to seize the tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana.
“That was very labor intensive. We started to haul the marijuana out of there, probably around one 1:30 in the afternoon. And we hauled all the way to 5:00 in the morning to get it all out,” said Sheriff Chris Elliott, Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office.
Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott said more than 36 tons of illegal marijuana was found inside a barn in Choska Bottom.
Elliott said no arrests were made on scene and investigators are still working to find out where it all came from.
“It was a very large amount of marijuana. It was a warehouse that was stacked six, eight, ten feet tall throughout the whole warehouse of these great big marijuana bushes. And whoever put it in there had put it in order to dry the marijuana. And in fact, there was a small processing plant inside there where they had started processing the marijuana,” said Sheriff Elliott.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says busts of this size are rare, but the agency, on several occasions in the past few years, has seized over 100,000 pounds of marijuana destined for the black market in a single bust.
“It just speaks to the volume of black-market marijuana coming out of Oklahoma… When you talk to law enforcement around the United States, they’re going to tell you the same thing’ that Oklahoma, if they’re not the number one exporter of black market marijuana, they’re one of the top states,” said Mark Woodward, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
Woodward said over the last three years, they have shut down more than a thousand criminal grow operations, destroyed over half-a-million pounds of illegal pot, and arrested more than 300 people.
Right now, the agency is investigating close to 3,000 farms.
“On a daily basis, we’re serving warrants around the state on these farms and also on these warehouses or and the residential search warrants,” said Woodward.
On the same day as the bust in Wagoner County, The AG’s Office also seized 250 pounds of illegal marijuana in Lincoln County.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement on Tuesday:
“On Thursday, November 9th, at approximately 1:00 pm, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Office of Attorney General in reference to a compliance inspection at a marijuana grow in southeastern Lincoln County. During the inspection, irregularities and indicators of criminal drug trafficking were observed by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, along with an Investigator from our agency. A search warrant was obtained for the marijuana grow which resulted in approximately 250 lbs of illegal marijuana. This is still an open and ongoing investigation. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office values its partnership with The Office of the Attorney General’s Office.”
The Lincoln County and Wagoner County busts are under investigation.
The AG’s Office urges anyone with information about suspected illegal grows, to report it to them.