The operation to grow indoor pots on the black market in Oregon closed when excessive electricity demand led to the explosion of nearby electrical transformers, federal officials said.
A 51-year-old man from Houston, Texas, is accused of organization of illegal operations Many homes in Oregon have been charged, including conspiracy to produce and store marijuana with the intent to distribute marijuana, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Authorities found 33,000 potted plants, 1,800 pounds of packaged marijuana, 23 firearms, nine vehicles and more than $ 591,000 from homes, the release said.
They are also seeking the confiscation of all 16 homes used in operations valued at $ 6.5 million, the release said.
Officials estimate that more than $ 13.2 million has been sold on the black market since August 2020, prosecutors said.
The arrest came after a 14-month investigation sparked by explosions on power transformers caused by excessive electricity use, the release said.
If convicted, the man faces a life sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $ 10 million fine, prosecutors said.