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Federal Charges Announced in Medical Marijuana Grows

Defendants Registered to Grow Under Oregon Medical Marijuana Act

May 1, 2012

EUGENE, Ore. - On May 1, 2012, Clifford Ruhland, 32, and Michael Grantski, 50, both of Medford, Oregon, were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Medford, Oregon, on a Criminal Complaint charging a conspiracy to illegally manufacture and distribute marijuana. The affidavit filed in support of the Criminal Complaint reveals some of the case details. The charges relate to a series of federal search warrants executed in Southern Oregon in the fall of 2011, during which federal agents seized more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana grown for illegal distribution under the guise of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Some of the seized plants were upwards of eight feet tall.

Agents also seized packaging materials, a money counter, and two machines designed specifically for trimming marijuana bud. Financial evidence described in court papers reflects large cash deposits into financial institutions by some of the defendants.

"When drug dealers engage in large scale drug trafficking enterprises for profit, and seek to hide behind a state law intended for sick people, we will hold them accountable," stated U. S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.

Six defendants were charged in the complaint. Grantski and Ruhland made their first appearances today. The other four defendants are expected to be arraigned later this week. A complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has violated the law. All of the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

The drug charges against the defendants are punishable by up to 40 years in prison and fines up to $5,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Fong is handling the prosecution of this case. A copy of the Criminal Complaint and supporting affidavit can be viewed at "20120501_ruhland.pdf".

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