Pot bust nets 220 pounds

A traffic stop near Ashland last week has led to the arrest of six people and the seizure in the Applegate of 220 pounds of marijuana, plus weapons and $10,000 in cash, according to police.

Darren and Laurel Applegate, both 41 and holders of medical marijuana cards, face charges of manufacture, delivery and possession of marijuana as a result of the joint operation of Josephine County's Rogue Area Drug Enforcement team and the Oregon State Police at their home on Dreamhill Drive in Williams, the agencies stated in a release this morning.

They said four others also are facing felony charges in the case, but they were not identified this morning.

Police said the case started when a sedan with California license plates was stopped for a traffic violation as it was headed north from Ashland. The driver told police he was headed to the Applegate with $9,100 to buy three pounds of marijuana, according to police.

Police went to the home and found three California residents trimming marijuana for distribution. While they were there, the Applegates arrived and acknowledged they grow the drug for 11 patients, according to police.

Although the Applegates as marijuana card holders can possess the drug, the legal amount of usable marijuana that can be possessed by registered growers for 11 patients under Oregon's program would be 16.5 pounds, police said.

Detectives found evidence of a large-scale marijuana growing operation at the house, police said, along with 240 pounds of marijuana, 12 firearms, including assault rifles, ammunition, ballistic vests and about $1,100 in cash.

They estimated the 220 pounds of marijuana they seized has a value of about $556,000.

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