Nine people are accused in an alleged federal conspiracy of using ill-gotten gains from a credit card scheme to finance illegal marijuana grows and a state-licensed marijuana retail business in Corvallis that shipped pot out of state in an extensive black-market operation.
The investigation began, prosecutors said, when the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service started delving into credit card fraud in the Corvallis area in December 2016. The fraud yielded more than $1 million in losses to banks, they said in court documents.
The proceeds financed illegal marijuana grows at homes in Corvallis and Philomath and paid the rent for the Corvallis Cannabis Club, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.
The charges come after Oregon's U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams issued new guidelines last month promising to target the illicit marijuana market, organized crime, outlaw grows and operations that pose a risk of violence.
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