drug task force

Sheriff: More marijuana seized in continued raids

Source: Siskiyou Daily

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey provided a marijuana enforcement update to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 4.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office reported the following: 

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey provided a marijuana enforcement update to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 4.

Additional information about counter-drug operations conducted throughout the county in the Happy Camp, Klamath River Country Estates area, and Mt. Shasta Forest have also been summarized.

This report primarily summarizes marijuana enforcement efforts on private lands in Siskiyou County.

The SCSO and the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office formed the Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team, which has assumed the primary mission of enforcing drug-related laws and the new marijuana ordinance on private property during the current marijuana season.

On Thursday, Sept. 29, SIMIT served seven search warrants in the Happy Camp area. SIMIT seized 295 marijuana plants and over 300 pounds of processed marijuana.

Two arrests were made and two firearms were seized. Ten illegal cannabis gardens were eradicated and a bindle containing methamphetamine was also seized.

One suspect was arrested and charged with drug and weapons-related charges and another was charged with resisting, obstructing and delaying a peace officer during one of the drug seizure operations.

Several law enforcement agencies participated in the operation, including other members of the SCSO, members of the California Highway Patrol, and law enforcement officers from the United States Forest Service. The all-day mission resulted in the seizure of predominately mature marijuana plants, with high yields. The seized plants had a wholesale value (based on yield estimates) of about $885,000 and a retail value of approximately $6.2 million.

The processed marijuana seized had a wholesale value of about $300,000 and a retail value of approximately $2.1 million.

On Friday, Sept. 30, a SIMIT detective assisted members of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Watershed Enforcement Team with the service of four search warrants in the Mt. Shasta Forest area, outside of McCloud. During this operation, approximately 400 marijuana plants were seized. CDFWL’s WET was requested to assist the SCSO and SIMIT with illegal marijuana issues in the south part of the county and the team has assisted with at least one other operation. This team was formed to address the many watershed, environmental, and pollution issues common with illicit cannabis cultivation operations.

On Tuesday, Oct.4, SIMIT conducted three search warrant operations on Cottonwood Creek Road in the Hornbrook area and four additional search warrants were served in the KRCE area. Over 600 marijuana plants and a cache of processed marijuana were seized but results are still being tabulated.

On Thursday, Oct. 6, SIMIT served two search warrants in Scott Valley and three search warrants in the KRCE area. Two search warrants on Quartz Valley Road and North Kidder Creek Road resulted in the seizure of 156 marijuana plants and a significant amount of processed cannabis, which weighed out at 826 pounds.

One suspect attempted to evade arrest and was apprehended and booked at the Siskiyou County Jail and charged with resisting arrest. Drug-related charges are pending against other suspects.

SIMIT’s counter-drug operation in the KRCE area resulted in the service of three additional search warrants and the seizure of 130 marijuana plants and another significant amount of processed cannabis, totaling 333.75 pounds. This operation also included members of the California Army National Guard’s Counter-Drug Team, which has arrived in Siskiyou County and is assisting SCSO and SIMIT with current operations.

According to Lopey, “This operation exacted a heavy toll against illegal drug traffickers due to the amount of mature marijuana plants seized and the large cache of processed marijuana that has been removed from the streets of this county, state, and nation. The plants alone are worth about $858,000.00 wholesale and about $6 million on the illegal drug retail market. The processed marijuana, an amount obviously destined for a large illegal drug market, is valued at about $1.2 million wholesale and approximately $8.1 million in the retail illicit drug market. We are fortunate to have such outstanding support from state agencies, including the highly-experienced members of the California Army National Guard’s Counter-Drug Team.”

On Thursday, Oct. 6, the CDFWL’s WET returned to the Mt. Shasta Forest area and served two search warrants, netting about 201 marijuana plants. The wardens’ haul for the day was worth about $603,000 wholesale and approximately $4.2 million on the retail illicit drug market.

During the current marijuana enforcement season, as of Oct. 4, SIMIT, working on private property illicit marijuana operations, has seized 9,212 cannabis plants, 2,998 pounds of processed marijuana, 113 ounces of concentrated cannabis, and $13,170 in suspected drug-related money has been confiscated. Nineteen generators, six water pumps, and one 4,000-gallon water truck have also been seized by SIMIT investigators.

Five bindles of methamphetamine have been seized, 21 firearms confiscated, and four BHO or THC extraction labs have been encountered/seized. Seventy-two search warrants have been obtained from the Siskiyou County Superior Court prior to conducting the vast majority of the counter-drug operations.

The total number of suspects identified during the 72 search warrant operations conducted by SIMIT have totaled approximately 94 this current growing season.

SIMIT has additional search warrants signed for the week of Oct. 9 – 15 to address citizen complaints in other portions of the county. The marijuana seized was mostly mature, high-yield plants. The number of plants and amount of processed marijuana appear to indicate large-scale, illegal drug trafficking operations at the locations subject to the law enforcement operations.

Lopey stated, “The efforts of SIMIT continue to have a positive impact on curtailing illegal private property marijuana cultivation operations in Siskiyou County. We continue to see large gardens with high-capacity plants capable of producing amounts of marijuana that are worth millions of dollars, once more discrediting claims that the cannabis is being produced pursuant to existing medical marijuana provisions of law. The large amounts of processed marijuana also illustrate the point that most of the illegal cannabis seized is destined for illegal drug markets in California and other parts of the nation.”

SIMIT investigators continue to encounter environmental damage inflicted by growers, including downed trees, garbage, raw sewage, illegal water diversions, chemicals and fertilizers used in cultivation sites, and other adverse impacts. Illegal campfires on land parcels have been detected along with a number of fire hazards associated with debris piles, fuels, and hazardous substances, which has drawn the close attention of assisting CAL FIRE investigators and newly-arrived members of other agencies. Sheriff Lopey has requested support from the North Coast Regional Water Control Board and the Central Regional Water Control Board along with the CDFWL WET wardens, which have already assisted SCSO and SIMIT with illegal cultivation eradication. Water board and CDFWL investigators will help SCSO and SIMIT deal with many negative environmental impacts of illicit marijuana cultivation sites, including but not limited to improper grading, human waste, run-off sediment, nutrients and fertilizers leaching into the soil and watershed; improper site development, illegal road construction, run-off into streams, rivers, and lakes, and other public health and environmental concerns that adversely impact water quality and natural habitats, potentially harmful to birds, fish, other animals.

CHP continues to support SCSO and SIMIT operations by assisting with various operations, including the enforcement of hazardous commercial violations associated with water trucks operations, some of which have been operating in the county to provide support to marijuana cultivation sties.

Another task force, the California Department of Justice-led North State Marijuana Investigation Team, a regional team working with the United States Forest Service to curtail illegal marijuana grow sites on public lands, are accelerating the pace of counter-drug enforcement operations. NSMIT has seized about 94,243 illegal cannabis plants in private and public land areas of Siskiyou County in recent weeks. NSMIT has also detected hazardous chemicals that threaten the environment in public land grows. NSMIT has also seized 2,905 pounds of processed marijuana and has seized three firearms. NSMIT has seized three BHO or “Honey Oil” labs as well.

According to Lopey, “We appreciate the information and support we are receiving from the majority of impacted Siskiyou County residents and county officials. We plan to expand our drug enforcement efforts to protect the environment, make our communities safer, and, we will continue to interdict and deter illegal drug production and trafficking in Siskiyou County, especially with the extra help we have received from various state and federal agencies. As previously emphasized, we are definitely interrupting the illegal drug supply to many other counties and states throughout the nation and responding to numerous requests for assistance from the citizens we serve. I urge any citizen or group to contact me or another departmental leader if they have any questions about our existing ordinance or lawful provisions of criminal law related to marijuana cultivation. Our ultimate goal is to gain voluntary compliance from non-compliant inhabitants of the county but the number of recent seizures of illegal cannabis and a recent tour of the county in a helicopter clearly indicates too many people are ignoring the county ordinance and other provisions of law, which will not be tolerated. Additional information about the marijuana ordinance and enforcement protocol may also be obtained at the Siskiyou County Planning Department, Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office, or, at websites maintained by SCSO and these departments. I am also offering town hall meetings in areas that request our support to better educate the public about these important public health and safety issues.”

According to Sergeant LaRue, “Anyone with information about an illegal marijuana cultivation site is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900. Citizens may also contact the Siskiyou County Planning Department (Community Development) to report suspected marijuana ordinance violations at (530) 841-2100.”

Source: Sikiyou Daily
Published: October, 10 2016
URL: TSiskiyou Daily

free wordpress themes

Comments




There are no comments

Add yours