Drummond creates organized crime task force targeting illegal marijuana grows


By John Dobberstein, Editor

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond announces he has created an “organized crime” task force to combat the problems being caused by illegal marijuana growing operations.

The effort includes the addition of a citizen tip line so suspicious activity related to unlicensed operations can be reported.

Drummond said Wednesday as he announced the move that illegal marijuana grows are responsible for “an alarming influx of organized crime into our communities, particularly from Mexican drug cartels and Chinese crime syndicates.

“I have made it a priority to wipe out these illicit operators and this task force is a crucial component to driving out criminals and ensuring public safety,” Drummond said in a statement.

The task force will work closely with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority and other state agencies “to investigate all crimes related to illegal grow operations, including human trafficking and the distribution of deadly drugs such as fentanyl,” Drummond said.

Citizens with information about suspected illegal grow operations are encouraged to submit a tip to the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General.

A complaint form is available at oag.ok.gov by clicking on the “Illegal Marijuana Tipline” tab. Tips also can be sent to illegalgrow@oag.ok.gov and reporters can remain anonymous.

House Bill 2095, signed into law in May, gives the Organized Crime Task Force, in conjunction with OBN and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, full enforcement authority over medical marijuana laws.

Authored by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Lonnie Paxton, the measure allows the Office of the Attorney General to subpoena business documents, conduct unannounced on-site inspections, seize and destroy illegal products and enter into agreements with other state agencies to combat illegal operations

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