Drug, gang probe in valley leads to criminal charges

An investigation into complaints about drug dealing in west Medford led to the search of a Benson Street home and a string of drug charges against a man who lived there, reported a new interagency task force tackling drugs and gangs in the Rogue Valley.

Aaran Benjamin Linhart, 24, of the 500 block of Benson Street, was cited to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of manufacturing, delivering and possessing marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and Ecstasy, as well as delivering and possessing LSD.

Investigators assigned to the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team served a search warrant at Linhart's Benson Street home on Dec. 17 in response to complaints about drug dealing there, the team's supervisor, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney, said in a news release Tuesday.

In the search, police found about a pound of pot, as well as roughly an ounce of hallucinogenic mushrooms, six hits of LSD, 3 grams of powdered Ecstasy along with an assortment of tablets of the drug, and several dozen opiate-derived pain pills, Doney said. Officers also seized some cash believed to be related to drug transactions.

Officials suspect that Linhart was a busy neighbor-level drug dealer. They followed leads without disclosing Linhart's name publicly, but wrapped those up this week, Doney said. Releasing his name won't endanger ongoing work, Doney said.

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