WEST LINN, Ore. – After serving search warrants in West Linn and Eugene last month, West Linn police have seized about 10 pounds of pot, other drugs and more than $18,000 in cash, in a bust that involved high school students, the West Linn Police Department said Monday.
Investigators say at least three men supplied pot or were involved in supplying it to current or former West Linn High School students.
In a news release, West Linn Detective Mike Francis said that most of the marijuana police seized was to be distributed through a "network of dealers from all grade levels."
Police arrested 51-year-old Francesco Zorich, 20-year-old Nick Joscelyn and 21-year-old Connor Krug last month. All three men live in West Linn.
Francis said Zorich hired West Linn High School students to take care of his marijuana grow. He paid them in pot.
"Frankly it pisses me off. If adults want to do what they want to do and it's legal in the neighboring state that's fine, but not kids. That's totally wrong," said Mark Gronvold, Zorich's neighbor.
Gronvold and his wife say they saw the raid and always had their suspicions about Zorich. They say traffic going in and out of his house has picked up lately, they've even smelt burnt marijuana coming from his home several times.
As for West Linn High School students, they tell KATU drug use is a major problem.
"I think it's good they stopped him. Hopefully that will help with the problem we have around here," said Tim Harman, a junior at West Linn.
Police served a search warrant at his West Linn home Nov. 19 and found almost two pounds of marijuana and more than $3,500 in cash.
Police arrested Joscelyn Nov. 25 after they said he delivered pot and other drugs from Eugene to a former 18-year-old West Linn High School student. Police said they found a half pound of pot and $2,500 in cash.
That night police arrested Krug in Eugene. They found a pound of pot and more than $4,100 in cash after they served a warrant.
"I've heard numerous kids from inside and out of West Linn High School refer to our town as 'Weed Linn.' This operation was partially responsible for that by supplying in excess of a pound a week of marijuana into the high school," said Francis, a former school resource officer at the high school. "Many of the arrangements to do deals were done during school hours."
Francis said investigators learned during the course of the investigation that many of those who delivered the marijuana were part of the Oregon Medical Marijuana program but were selling to people who were not in the program.
From left to right: Francesco Zorich, Connor Krug and Nick Joscelyn.