Portland squat house owned by marijuana millionaires

Since 2020, law enforcement has visited the property thirty-six times.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

It has been revealed that a Portland home-turned-squatter's drug den is owned by marijuana moguls Aaron Mitchell and Rosa Cazares, the owners of one of Oregon's largest marijuana dispensary companies, La Mota.

Concerned neighbors have complained about the state of the property after their lives were put in danger on more than one occasion, however, Mitchell has failed to act on his promise to remedy the situation.

According to KOIN, the dilapidated structure is located in Portland's Hazelwood neighborhood near Southeast 139 Street and East Burnside Street, and was purchased by Mitchell in 2020. 

He applied for a permit to open a marijuana dispensary on the property that year, but has yet to go forward with it, and things went downhill from there.

Since 2020 when the property was sold, law enforcement has visited the property thirty-six times; there have been numerous fires, as well as countless reports of criminal activity there. The lingering smell of drugs, including fentanyl, has put many in the area on edge.

Neighbors Beth and Jacob Adams explained that one of the fires nearly made its way over to their property. Things reached a breaking point, however, when a drive-by shooting took place right next to their home, allegedly over a homeless man who owed someone else money. 

When the couple confronted Mitchell about the situation via text he replied by saying "we are trying what we can. Move."

Jacob slammed Mitchell and Cazares over their lack of action, saying "it looks like they’re multimillionaires and they just have a lot of money, and this is how they treat the neighborhoods they own?"

When nothing was accomplished by engaging with Mitchell directly, they took their fight to Portland City Council.

"We feel victimized by the irrefutable safety issues which happen so often," Beth told the members. "We cannot stand by and continue to report and report without change."

The City Council told them that the responsibility lies with Mitchell and Cazares, who have since revealed that they plan to demolish the structure.

"It is completely understandable that neighbors are frustrated," they said in a joint statement through La Mota. "We want them to know that we are working as quickly as possible to demolish this structure and redevelop the property. We have already hired a contractor, filed permits, paid deposits, and are awaiting final approval to proceed. We are sorry that this process has taken so long."


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