1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

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1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation
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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

In an effort to deter and eradicate illegal marijuana cultivation sites, the newly funded Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team has been identifying illegal cultivators in Santa Barbara County. The goal of the team is to stop the illegal cultivation of marijuana and prevent the environmental crimes associated with these illegal grows.

On September 6, 2018, investigators from the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau, Santa Barbara Police Department, California Fish & Wildlife, County District Attorney’s Investigator’s Office and the County’s Planning and Development Department served a series of search warrants in Nipomo, Santa Barbara County and Palos Verdes involving the illegal cultivation of marijuana. During the investigation, a 62-year-old Palos Verdes resident was determined to be involved in an illegal marijuana grow located on several properties in the Tepusquet area. Investigators contacted the person of interest and served a search warrant in the 500 block of Via Estrada Drive in Palos Verdes. While at the location, numerous documents were seized related to the illegal cultivation sites as well as evidence of a false document filed with the county concerning the marijuana grow.

Simultaneously, investigators served search warrants at properties located in the 7900 block of Blazing Saddle Dr. and the 1800 block of Tepusquet Rd. At these locations, investigators found a large marijuana cultivation site and an additional site that was being prepared to cultivate marijuana. 

In all, investigators eradicated more than 1,400 marijuana plants. They also observed environmental violations involving disruptions of the streambed and grading. A follow up search warrant took investigators to the 800 block of Chata Steet, where a small amount of heroin and additional marijuana cultivation related documents were located.

While investigators were eradicating the marijuana plants, they observerd a neighboring property in the 1800 block of Tepusquet Rd with an illegal marijuana grow. Investigators conducted an investigation and eradicated an additional 174 marijuana plants.
Based on the evidence located, the Sheriff’s office will be requesting the District Attorney’s Office review the information for potential charges related to the illegal marijuana cultivation and perjury.

The Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office would like to take this opportunity to remind our community members that Santa Barbara County has developed a county ordinance that provides a path to legally cultivate marijuana within the county.

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Flicka Sep 13, 2018 05:05 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

The Feds still have cannabis on the A list of illegal drugs, right up there with heroin. It's all political. It became illegal after prohibition ended, they needed to keep the vice feds employed. Main idea was to get rid of the Mexicans in the southwest. It's illegality has been a stupid law from the get-go.

a-1542507638 Sep 13, 2018 09:14 AM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

The wind is blowing towards national legalization. A half dozen mega farms in Iowa will put all of these small legal and illegal growers out of business. And one or two national chain Starbucks-style shops will put all of the dispensaries out of business. From a government perspective, it's way easier to manage audit a few legal entities versus lots of little ones. People are making a lot of money now but don't be the last guy holding the bag when the lights go out.

a-1542507638 Sep 13, 2018 01:02 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

Fair points, but I disagree based one basic difference: anyone with a backyard, balcony or a small grow tent can grow a pot plant (or six) for their own use. For 99% of us it is not possible to grow coffee or grapes in adequate quantities. Artisan growers will be a minuscule part of the economy, and if they get big enough they'll be acquired by the big growers (same as the craft beer producers). Users unable or unwilling to grow their own will have to buy from the mega growers at prices too low for other producers to compete. True, selling pot without a license or possession of large amounts will still be illegal. But we'll see nationwide laws making the possession of less than an ounce, and growing less than a few plants, 100% legal.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 13, 2018 12:12 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

Not a chance. Not only do you have the juggernaut of money earned from incarceration and the criminal justice system, you also have decades of propaganda and falsehoods embedded into the minds of millions of people to overcome. And in America, money is all that matters.... Besides, weed is closer to wine than coffee. You dont see national wine stores, you see small boutique artisans and growers with local laws dictating growth and consumption.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 13, 2018 08:42 AM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

An astoundingly stupid waste of money and resources. The War on Drugs has been an abysmal failure for everyone but LE unions, prisons and weapon manufactures. They've all made billions while our rights and our liberty have been destroyed. Why are we wasting resources on this ? And dont say its environmental as there are more chemicals leaking from the Sherriffs's motor pool than on a grow site of this type. What a farce.

a-1542507638 Sep 13, 2018 08:48 AM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

Paid for by taxing cannabis growers, distributors, manufacturers and retailers. Voters passed the tax on cannabis in June. The cannabis industry supported it. Not a dime out of the pockets of you and me for law enforcement to continue to investigate and bust illegal grows, like it has always done. Legal cannabis should not have to compete with illegal cannabis.

Crystalandmaui Sep 13, 2018 07:23 AM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

At least it wasn’t near a school in a small town, oh no they weren’t collecting tax on this. So this marijuana is illegal. Not the first not the last. Yep you think they are bigger problems, right.

Z Sep 13, 2018 05:37 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

Which "they" is it that "attempt to keep the stream beds clear of plants?" It's a serious offense to mess with streamside vegetation, Department of Fish and Wildlife seriously enforces the rules.

a-1542507638 Sep 13, 2018 05:02 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

They do attempt to keep the stream beds clear of plants. And, as you say, if we all left this area, then no one would be in danger. Of course, we know everyone leaving this area is unlikely to happen.

a-1542507638 Sep 12, 2018 11:29 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

That is very true, as proven in the tragic mudslides which did occur. But why add to it, when the best idea is to try to keep them clear as possible. And if they graded the slopes, then that could also make things worse as well when and if we have more major storms.

a-1542507638 Sep 12, 2018 07:17 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

After the destruction in Montecito, I would think there would be more concern about the possible disruption of a stream bed, and/or grading the land, which could cause flooding in local or other areas. People are usually concerned about stream beds being kept free of brush, trees, and other plants because of what can happen in a rainstorm. If those plants were swept away, they could easily clog drainage, and cause flooding.

GeneralTree Sep 12, 2018 05:49 PM
1,500 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Grow Operation

I tell you, between jay walking sting operations, policing electric scooters, making plastic straws illegal and this........ I don't know how law enforcement will ever have time to deal with the aggressive homeless on State Street or our out of control gang situation.

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