June 03, 2013
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Phone Number: (206) 553-5443
Southern Oregon Martial Arts Instructor Sentenced To Federal Prison On Marijuana Charges
Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cloaks illegal marijuana sales
MEDFORD, Ore. - Robert Hisamoto, 42, of Ashland, Oregon, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Hisamoto is the owner and operator of Samurai Fighting Arts in Medford, Oregon.
In August 2011, the investigation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA) identified 198 large marijuana plants growing at 6530 Tolo Road, Central Point, Oregon. This property was owned by Robert Hisamoto and was listed as an Oregon Medical Marijuana (OMMP) grow site. On October 20, 2011, DEA agents executed a search warrant at the Tolo Road property. Charlie and Madeline Reader resided at the property with their adult children. All but sixteen marijuana plants had been harvested. A large barn contained 48 drying racks used to process marijuana and the garage contained an indoor marijuana grow operation with 90 marijuana plants under grow lights, and a “Trim Pro” (Twister) hi-speed marijuana processing machine.
Agents also executed a search warrant at Hisamoto’s residence, 704 Elkader Street, Ashland, Oregon. The garage contained 98 pounds of trimmed marijuana bud on drying racks, 117 pounds of packaged marijuana bud, and 17 pounds of marijuana shake, totaling 233 pounds. Hisamoto was registered as an OMMP caregiver for 30 patients, which under the OMMP allowed him to possess a maximum of 45 pounds of marijuana. Several documents contained notations of marijuana weights and prices per pound sold, ranging from $18,000 to $29,000. Agents also discovered that Hisamoto maintained an additional marijuana grow site in Butte Falls. Agents later learned that Hisamoto had more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana concealed in a storage unit, which he later sold.
Interviews of listed OMMP growers and patients revealed that Hisamoto recruited OMMP growers and patients as a guise to grow large quantities of marijuana for sale. Most of the “growers” were not involved in the operation, and many of the “patients’ either did not use marijuana or never received marijuana from Hisamoto. Further investigation revealed that Hisamoto sold the marijuana to buyers from California. Hisamoto recruited co-defendants Charlie and Madeline Reader to manage the Tolo Road marijuana grow site. Madeline Reader also signed up OMMP patients for Hisamoto and paid their fees with money provided by Hisamoto. Hisamoto also recruited several others to guard the Tolo Road grow site and assist in trimming marijuana.
Co-defendants Charles Reader and Madeline Reader were previously sentenced to 33 months and 18 months prison respectively for their role in Hisamoto’s operation. Madeline Reader had a previous felony conviction for delivery of methamphetamine.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Medford Police Department, Ashland Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.