CANNABIS CULTURE – Rural areas of northern California and southern Oregon are well known for their high-grade cannabis, comparable to the Champagne wine region of France. That said, its reputation had not only heightened demand, but emboldened criminal activity, putting more workers at risk of exploitation.
“You have cartels involved in this. And when I say cartels, I don’t mean just cartels that are from Mexico or the Hispanic descent side,” says Sheriff Dave Daniel of Josephine County, Oregon a small rural community of 85,000 people. “We have Ukraine, China, Bulgaria, Venezuela. You name it, we got here. And they set up these operations, and they force people to work.”
Daniel says that the cartels overwhelm local law enforcement by leasing properties from residents and setting up operations on a large scale. “We may be able to hit 50 of 600 operations a year.”
As part of a joint taskforce with the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI),