PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's top federal prosecutor has charged nine Corvallis-area residents with financial and drug crimes in what he says was a scheme to defraud banks and use the money to grow marijuana for the black market.
The case announced Tuesday is the first involving marijuana-related charges prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Billy Williams since he issued a memo criticizing Oregon's pot surplus.
Williams was the first U.S. attorney to publicly outline his strategy for federal marijuana enforcement after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled back Obama-era protections for states with legal pot.
Federal prosecutors say the current case began as a major fraud investigation and grew into a drug probe that also stretched into California and Illinois.
Williams says illicit funds were also used to start a state-licensed retail store in Corvallis, the Corvallis Cannabis Club.
- Top US attorney in Oregon charges nine in fraud, pot scheme
- Feds: 'Vast' Oregon pot trafficking schemes net six arrests
- Oregon man pleads guilty to forced labor, visa fraud
- Oregon woman pleads guilty to visa fraud, forced labor
- Ex-Oregon National Guard worker accused in $6.4M fraud case
- Audit: Oregon regulators lax in monitoring pot industry
- Reports: Oregon has pot oversupply; Colorado hits the mark
- SPECIAL REPORT: Pets on Pot
- Pot buffer zone moves forward
- Oregon murder suspect's attorney claims he's not fit for trial