Portland men caught at remote pot grow

A tip from a hiker with a sharp eye for illegal botany led detectives to two marijuana grows Thursday in an “extremely remote” area in the Mt. Hood National Forest.

Mid Columbia Interagency Task Force detectives arrested two men at about 5 p.m. and nabbed a total of 47 marijuana plants after spending several days monitoring the scene, located off the 3530 Road and 240 Spur Road and along the White River, east and southeast of Mt. Hood. The first site is located more than nine miles off Highway 35.

MINT team members from Hood River and Wasco county sheriff’s departments, City of the Dalles, and U.S. Forest Service assisted in the operation. William Mickle of USFS is case officer on the investigation, which is ongoing.

After finding 17 plants at one site and making the arrests, detectives learned that the men had another grow farther south along the White River, in Wasco County. Detectives found 30 plants there.

One detective said the surveillance lasted “for a few days.”

“The subject had been monitored for a significant time frame tending to the plants,” he said.

The suspects, Portlanders aged 51 and 36, were observed watering the plants from a nearby creek, and then arrested without incident. They were scheduled to be charged in Hood River County Circuit Court Friday morning with manufacture, possession and delivery of a controlled substance, and criminal conspiracy to manufacture, according to MINT detectives.

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