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Not your regular marijuana bust

By Barry Porterfield

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It wasn’t just a regular bust as officers from three law enforcement agencies came together last week to shutdown an illegal marijuana grow on the big side near Wynnewood.

Aquilino Oliveros Martinez, 38, claims he wasn’t doing anything wrong but is now facing a criminal charge of trafficking marijuana.

Tips coming in from residents in the area led authorities to the site with several outdoor “hoop houses” set up to cultivate marijuana and a residence nearby that appears to be the place where Martinez was staying.

“There were 38 hoop houses there,” Garvin County Sheriff Jim Mullett says.

“With that big of an operation I requested these other agencies to come in and help.

“We also had intel that people were breaking in and stealing marijuana from the site.”

Mullett is referring to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) and Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA).

According to the sheriff, the investigation led by Sgt. Jeramy Lansdale kicked off a “coordinated” operation with OMMA.

It revealed the grow site had no valid license or registration to legally cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.

The sheriff adds the site actually had its license canceled by OMMA this past summer, specifically back on June 23.

County sheriff’s deputies teamed with OMMA and OBN agents to conduct a search on Oct. 23 of an operation identified as belonging to Yo Verde Farm, LLC.

“It was abandoned but marijuana was growing wildly on the site,” Mullet said, adding inside the outdoor hoop houses the marijuana plants appeared to be getting care from someone.

What they reported finding were 52 pounds of processed marijuana, somewhere around 5,400 marijuana plants and several more of the plants drying inside the residence where Martinez was living.

Also found were ledgers showing possible marijuana related information, such as prices, quantities and plant strains.

“He claims he was not cultivating marijuana,” Mullett said about the defendant.

“Martinez admitted to law enforcement that he did not possess a valid license for marijuana possession or cultivation,” he adds in a released statement. “None of the seized marijuana had an appropriate tax stamp affixed to it, including the operation’s illicit nature.

Martinez didn’t stay in jail long as he was released later in the week after a $30,000 bond was posted.

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