U.S. Attorney Files Charges on Another Sham Medical Merijuana Grom in Southern Oregon
Growers and Patients Recruited to Obtain OMMP Cards to Make Operation Look Legitimate
MEDFORD, Ore. – On May 30, 2012, the U. S. Attorney’s Office, District of Oregon, filed a Criminal Complaint charging four Rogue Valley individuals with conspiracy and manufacturing marijuana. Named in the Complaint are Robert Hisamoto, 41, of Ashland, Oregon, and Charles Reader, 51, Mandeline Reader, 40, and Gary Figueira, 32, all residents of Central Point, Oregon. The charges stem from an October 10, 2011, federal search warrant executed at 6530 Tolo Road, Central Point, Oregon, owned by Hisamoto. The defendants will make their first appearances in U.S. District Court in Medford, Oregon on May 30, 2012.
According to an investigator’s affidavit submitted to obtain the criminal complaint, Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) records listed 6530 Tolo Road as a grow site for 28 patients and Hisamoto as a caregiver for 30 patients. Although agents previously observed 198 large marijuana plants growing on the property, only 16 partially harvested marijuana plants remained. However, federal agents also searched Hisamoto’s house, 704 Elkader Street, Ashland, OR, discovering over 200 pounds of drying and packaged marijuana. Documents seized indicated that Hisamoto was selling the marijuana for $2,200 per pound. The Readers and Figueira resided at the Tolo Road grow site and were registered to grow there. Madeline Reader has a prior felony conviction for delivery of methamphetamine in Jackson County.
As set forth in the agent’s affidavit, witness interviews disclosed that Hisamoto recruited growers and patients to make his operation look legitimate under the OMMP, filling out the paperwork for them and paying for their doctor’s appointments and registration fees. Several “growers” interviewed admitted they took no part in the marijuana grow, and several supposed patients indicated that they were not marijuana users or received little to no marijuana from Hisamoto. Hisamoto owns and operates Samurai Fights Arts, a martial arts studio in Medford.
“This case is another example of drug dealers clearly abusing the State’s OMMP law to traffic marijuana,” said United States Attorney Amanda Marshall. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute large-scale marijuana growers and distributors who operate under the false pretext that they are only supplying “medicine.”
To view a copy of the Complaint and Affidavit, click here.