DA's Drug Task Force serves warrant on illegal grow house near Tiawah

Mar. 30—Nearly 12 dump truck loads of marijuana are going up in smoke, and arrests are pending in connection with an Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics warrant served Thursday at a rural Tiawah marijuana grow site southeast of Claremore.

Spearheading the raid were members of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Marijuana Enforcement Teams and the Rogers County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Scott Walton confirmed around 20 Rogers County sheriff's deputies took part in the takedown and the day-long cleanup at Galahad Farms LLC, 13902 E. 530 Road, which was housed in a large industrial building.

MET officials said the warrants were part of an ongoing investigation for operating a marijuana business with a fraudulent registration.

Agents seized 27,577 plants, 2,698 pounds of processed marijuana and 142,137 pre-rolls. Also assisting were employees of District 3 who provided the manpower to haul the confiscated plants to a burn site.

Rogers County Undersheriff Jon Sappington said the OBN reached out about a week ago with a "call for assistance" as they made plans to run the warrant.

The property is reported to have previously been a licensed marijuana business, but a change in ownership and failure to secure an updated license had put it on OBN's watch list. The warrant was run around 6 a.m. Thursday.

"We provided deputies, who assisted holding the perimeter while OBN served the warrant and conducted the search," Sappington said.

Once the site was secured county deputies, assisted by employees of Rogers County Commission District 3, they spent the rest of the day packaging the large grow operation and trucking it to undisclosed burn sites.

While the full scope of the operation has not been made public, Sappington said OBN officials had indicated it appeared around $1 million worth of product was being sold out of that building.

"Deputies on site were doing the math, the number of plants, plants per pound," Sappington said.

Diana Dickinson, county public information officer, said Commissioner Ron Burrows' county workers had dug the burn site for the environmentally safe disposal of the contraband at an undisclosed location.

Since 2021, OBN's MET have shut down 3,000 marijuana grows, arrested over 300 individuals and seized over one million pounds of marijuana as part of criminal investigations for operating with a license obtained by fraud and/or growing for the out-of-state black market.

MET released a statement saying Oklahoma's medical marijuana program has seen a drastic reduction in the number of criminal organizations operating in Oklahoma. OBN registrations for growers has dropped from 9,400 in 2021 to 6,400 in 2022. Today, the number is approximately 3,200.