Hidden space contained pot valued at $216,000
Mark and Corrine Noah face felony accusations of manufacturing and distributing marijuana after police discovered an astonishing underground grow operation at their home in Eagle Creek.
During the raid on the Noahs' home, police discovered secret levers, swinging bookshelves, an underground bunker and marijuana valued at $216,000.
The investigation was under the supervision of the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force and culminated on Jan. 20 with the serving of a search warrant to the Noahs' house on the 31000 block of Southeast Jackknife Road in Eagle Creek.
Once inside, the task force officers seized 72 marijuana plants and a firearm. One marijuana plant produces an average of 1 pound of marijuana, which sells for an average of $3,000.
The arrests and investigation flew under the radar while the task force officers exhausted all potential leads to others who may have been involved.
'Take the example of if we found someone in possession of meth,' said Lt. James Rhodes of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. 'That may lead to the dealer, which may lead to the supplier, which may lead to the lab.
'In this case, the arrest was made, and we didn't send it out because we wanted to protect our leads. By now, enough time has passed, and we didn't have any information to protect because of the time that passed.'
Mark, 65, was arrested on Jan. 20, while Corrine, 55, was arrested at a later date, and both are out on bail.
The task force investigation led them to a bunker that was hidden beneath the garage. To access the bunker, a secret lever needed to be tripped, freeing a short bookcase to be swung away from the wall.
Once the bunker was revealed, a small ladder led from the garage down into the bunker, which had cement floors and cinder block walls. The bunker had two rooms that were partitioned off, complete with grow lights, a plumbing network and a ventilation system. The rooms also had large enough ceilings to fit most adults standing up.
'What is remarkable about it is the degree of effort and amount of work that went into manufacturing an entire underground growing operation just to hide, just to conceal, an illegal marijuana grow,' Lt. Rhodes said.
KOIN Local 6, news partner of the Pamplin Media Group, contributed to this article.