Illegal Marijuana Confiscated from Los Padres National Forest

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Source: Ventura County Sheriff's Office

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau, in partnership with the Sheriff’s SWAT Team and the Sheriff’s Aviation Unit, has completed 18 illegal marijuana cultivation investigations on public or private land in and around the Los Padres National Forest in Northern Ventura County.  Those investigations yielded 74,600 marijuana plants and 1,500 pounds of harvested marijuana.  Eleven suspects were arrested, and 84 firearms were seized at the grow sites.  This is a significant increase in plants, processed marijuana, firearms, and arrest from previous years. 
 
The Sheriff’s Office has worked consistently with the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program in the eradication of illicit marijuana cultivations on public lands.  The Sheriff’s Office receives grant funding from the Forest Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration to locate, investigate, and eradicate illegal marijuana cultivation sites in the Los Padres National Forest.  These marijuana cultivation sites are littered with legal and illegal pesticides and herbicides as well as trash.  The natural vegetation is removed and the land is terraced which causes erosion.  Water is diverted from streams for irrigation and becomes contaminated with poisons that eventually runoff into Ventura County watersheds.
 
Many cultivation sites are located miles from roadways or trails.  Helicopters are utilized to transport law enforcement personnel in and haul marijuana, trash and supplies out of the grow sites.  Thousands of pounds of marijuana and trash are taken to a refuge disposal site and buried.  The marijuana produced from these illegal cultivation sites are sold on black market, with very little overhead costs, making the illicit marijuana business very profitable.
 
The impact on public lands continues to increase with the amount of trash, growing supplies and chemicals left behind after a marijuana cultivation is completed.  It is not uncommon for investigators to locate carbofuran, a pesticide, in the grow sites and applied to the plants.  The Environmental Protection Agency banned carbofuran in the United States in 2010 because the pesticide is extremely toxic to animals and humans.  According to the labels, the carbofuran that is being found in the grow sites have been imported into the United States from Mexico or China. 
 
Other illegal activities are also occurring at marijuana cultivation sites.  Human trafficking, labor trafficking, illegal firearms, other drugs like methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine are found along with butane honey oil labs, which place a significant risk to the public.
 
The Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with local, state and federal agencies, will continue to enforce local and state marijuana cultivation laws.  Anyone with information about illegal marijuana cultivation or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit at 805-383-8700 or the Ventura County Crime Stoppers Tip Line 800-222-8477.

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ChemicalSuperFreak Oct 26, 2020 06:12 PM
Illegal Marijuana Confiscated from Los Padres National Forest

Remember just last year and all the concern about underage kids vaping suspect THC-concoctions and ending up in the hospital? I think there's a larger market than you might think. Recent studies indicate more young kids than ever before have begun experimenting with weed and tobacco products. Another possibility is that this is being used to make honey oil, which is still illegal in CA.

sacjon Oct 26, 2020 06:13 PM
Illegal Marijuana Confiscated from Los Padres National Forest

DUKE - not really, I know people on both sides of the sales spectrum (licensed medicinal growers) and no one is risking it by buying/selling illegally. The prices are usually lower for most strains at the shops, so I don't see how anyone would risk arrest/citation to pay higher prices for lesser quality. Doesn't make sense.

dukemunson Oct 26, 2020 08:15 PM
Illegal Marijuana Confiscated from Los Padres National Forest

I usually agree with you Sacjon.. and agree completely! What The school board has and is doing is nuts! But I gotta disagree here. I know a few growers and quite a few tokers... and the “illegal” market is robust! For the locals I know, the Pharmacy is a novelty that’s wildly over priced. Maybe we’ll shift completely away from the black Market at some point, but in Sb in 2020... I’d be amazed if the black market wasn’t at Least 50% of the total sales...

CoastWatch Oct 26, 2020 05:35 PM
Illegal Marijuana Confiscated from Los Padres National Forest

These cartel supported foreign nationals absolutely DESTROY the environment with these illegal grows They use banned pesticides from Mexico to kill deer or any other wildlife from interfering with their grows- This not only kills wildlife, but poisons the watershed. Not to mention stealing water and trashing the grow area with garbage in our Forests.

PitMix Oct 27, 2020 07:09 AM
Illegal Marijuana Confiscated from Los Padres National Forest

This statement seems to be wrong: "The Environmental Protection Agency banned carbofuran in the United States in 2010 because the pesticide is extremely toxic to animals and humans." A US defense corp is one of the biggest manufacturers, FMC. The granules were banned in the 90s because birds thought they were seeds and ate them and died. The liquid form was banned for application on food crops in 2009. Two bald eagles in Maryland died in 2018 from eating the granules. Black market pot, you have no idea what you are smoking. Paraquat, anyone?

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