By: Buz Deliere | January 26, 2023
Union City police discovered a cache of cannabis following an unexpected traffic stop on Tuesday. Kae Saetern was pulled over for a traffic violation, only for police to find his SUV stocked with illicit weed - including marijuana that had spilled from its container and onto the console.
A massive 162 pounds of medical marijuana were found in the vehicle after police conducted a search.
Saetern now faces a hefty legal hurdle due to his lack of proper state-approved licensing. In addition, he was not following any guidelines nor did he claim association with an OMMA-licensed grow operation.
Saetern was arrested on charges of trafficking marijuana and booked into the Canadian County Jail and has been released since posting bond.
Governor Stitt recently signed HB 3208, this bill places a two-year moratorium on applications for dispensary, grower, and processor licenses. With the moratorium in place, OMMA has ramped up its inspection and compliance teams and they are out looking for illicit operations in the state.
Oklahoma is cracking down on a black-market marijuana problem that has seen foreign and out-of-state investors take advantage of cost savings. Mark Woodward, from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, noted this local bust was part of statewide action being taken to combat such activity.
Woodward goes on to explain how unscrupulous investors have infiltrated Oklahoma's resources and are funneling profits to international criminal organizations linked to Chinese, Mexican, Russian, and Bulgarian crime syndicates operating within the United States. With their ill-gotten gains, they've constructed a global money laundering scheme that stretches around the world.
An influx of overseas and out-of-state investments are being attracted to the state due to its more favorable expenditure costs, such as lower land prices, licenses, and regulations than in other parts of America.
In April 2022, authorities made a massive bust of an illegal cannabis grow site in a small Oklahoma town. An unprecedented 40,000 marijuana plants were confiscated and more than 20 people were detained.
Also in November of last year, a shocking quadruple homicide shook a small grow community in Oklahoma. Law enforcement soon tracked down a suspect who had made his way to Miami Fl before being apprehended.
Woodward said, “We’ve got to probably close to another 800 that will probably be shut down in the coming months.”
Oklahoma's rural areas are facing an environmental and economic crisis as a result of illegal operations dumping pesticide-laden water into local trees, creeks, and watersheds. these illicit large-scale grow operations are driving up land prices and taxes for nearby residents with no reward - in fact quite to contrary.
Oklahoma is now taking the illegal marijuana game more seriously! It's been revealed that the state has become a major hub of black-market cannabis - but authorities are determined to get things back on track.