During a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) called on United States Attorney General Merrick Garland to prioritize and direct more federal resources to local law enforcement in places like southern Oregon where county officials are combatting drug cartel operations including illegal marijuana farms and human trafficking.
In Congressman Bentz’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, he stated, “I’ve spoken with the FBI, but the Justice Department needs to be doing more about this issue at all levels.” Bentz continued, “Oregon, and possibly other states are caught up in the illegal growing and production of marijuana and cannabis on an industrial scale. According to local law enforcement, this industry is based in large part on the miserable suffering of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people coming across the border illegally, and then being pressed into indentured servitude by cartels.”
Following the hearing, Bentz stated “I had the opportunity to directly ask the Attorney General why he told the FBI to focus on parents appearing before school boards voicing their displeasure about critical race theory, instead of protecting Oregon communities from the obvious and real dangers posed by illegal and dangerous drug cartels. I hope he listened and that he will do more to help.”