Press Releases

Friday 08/16/2019 3:35 PM - Narcotics Investigation

Contact: Tony Cipolla
Phone: (805) 781-4547
Type of Incident: Narcotics Investigation
Date and Time of Incident: 8-15-19, Approximately 7:00 AM
Place of Occurrence: Near Hi Mountain Road, rural Lopez Lake area
Victim Information: N/A
Suspect Information: N/A
Details of News Release: On 8-15-19, Sheriff's Narcotics Detectives investigated an illegal trespass marijuana grow near Hi Mountain Road in the rural Lopez Lake area. Detectives harvested 3,003 budding marijuana plants that were being illegally grown on both private property and national forest land. Members of the Sheriff's Special Operation Unit, Sheriff's Cannabis Enforcement Team, Homeland Security Investigations, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Management (BLM) were involved in the investigation. The illegal trespass grow was spotted by members of the Sheriff's Cannabis Enforcement Team a few days prior during a reconnaissance mission. Investigators say evidence at the scene indicates this may be part of a Mexican National cultivation operation. This type of operation, besides being illegal, produces many environmental hazards from the chemicals and pesticides used on the plants and generates large amounts of trash. A nearby creek had also been dammed so water could be diverted to the marijuana plants which created ecological concerns. If these plants had been allowed to mature, it's estimated the retail value of the marijuana would have exceeded 20 million dollars. No arrests were made. The investigation is continuing.

Prepared By: tcipolla
Released: Friday 08/16/2019 3:36 PM