KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8, 6 pm Thursday, April 18, 1996

Pot Bust Suspects

Precede: Police have made a big splash about some multimillion-dollar marijuana busts lately but they haven't arrested anyone. I'm Pat Kruis. I'll tell you why.

Announcer Carol Jensen: In Clackamas County and then again in Vancouver [Wash.], police have cracked multimillion-dollar marijuana growing operations. It has been days, in one case weeks, but police still have not arrested anyone. The NewsChannel's Pat Kruis says it isn't because the suspects are out of reach.

Announcer Pat Kruis: Clark County police seized more than 1,100 high quality marijuana plants growing at six houses in Vancouver, a $3 million bust, yet police did not arrest the men who owned those houses. Albert Kornish and his twin brother Daniel, who lives at this Southeast Portland home, both turned themselves in to Clark County authorities, but the sheriff's office turned them away. Here's why.

Anytime police arrest someone, they have 90 days to bring the accused to a speedy trial. They don't want the meter running in a case like this. They want to have as much time as they can to make their case as solid as possible. Which might explain why it's been three weeks since a million-dollar drug bust in Clackamas County and they haven't arrested anyone yet.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy Damon Coates: It restricts your investigation a bit to where you're pressured um to move forward at a time maybe you wouldn't normally otherwise.

Pat Kruis: Officers found 700 plants at this sophisticated marijuana grow operation. Clackamas County expects to find more people in this case and those people could face federal charges.

Deputy Coates: And those things just take a lot of time to look into.

Pat Kruis: In both cases, the people police are focusing on have roots in the community and police don't think they'll run away. The fact that they're not in jail yet doesn't mean prosecutors are soft on marijuana growers.

Deputy Coates: The fact that we haven't arrested 'em, um translates to us taking a lot of time trying to get as, as thorough investigation under our belts so when we do go to prosecute 'em we can get as much time as we can possibly ask for.

Pat Kruis: This marijuana won't be going anywhere. Prosecutors see no reason to rush. Pat Kruis, KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8.

Announcer Carol Jensen: To give you an idea of how much marijuana is growing in the Portland area, Portland police confiscated $34 million worth of marijuana last year. That came from 275 growing operations.



Back to the All Politics is Local page.

This URL: