400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

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400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized
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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Cannabis Compliance Team Identifies Illegal Grow and Seizes Approximately 400,000 Marijuana Plants

On October 29, 2018, investigators from the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau served a search warrant in the 2700 block of Telephone Rd. in Santa Maria. The search warrant stemmed from a criminal investigation involving the illegal cultivation of marijuana that was concealed among existing farm fields. During the investigation, a Santa Maria resident was believed to have provided false information to county officials in an attempt to obtain a temporary state cannabis license.

Additionally, the subject had no valid state cannabis license and was found to be cultivating approximately 400,000 marijuana plants, which ranged in various growth cycles and maturity. Due to the size of the illegal marijuana site, detectives were assisted by members of the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The number of seized plants at the cultivation site was the largest to date, and er adication efforts spanned over two days.

Based on the evidence located, the Sheriff’s Office will be requesting the Santa Barbara County 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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Chip of SB Nov 02, 2018 05:54 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

I think it is rather insensitive to identify these plants as illegal. I would suggest referring to them as undocumented instead. These plants were only here because they needed a safe place to grow, and who could blame them. They have been contributing to our economy and quite frankly they had become part of the very fabric of our community. Violently uprooting these plants after all they have done for us, including the jobs that other plants just won't do, is wrong. It is time the state of California enacts legislation to give productive plants like these a path to the legal status they deserve.

Flicka Nov 02, 2018 03:25 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

SEAHAWK, Rite Aid in Carp was busted for selling to minors, lost their alcohol license. They moved to a smaller store because alcohol is a big money maker. Sure their bottles weren't taken/broken but they sure paid the price.

a-1556016601 Nov 02, 2018 09:34 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

Illegal grows are a slap in the face to the growers following the rules and paying big bucks for all involved to be legal. And, as mentioned, legal ones have to keep the plants organic w/o pesticides, illegal can put any crap on them. Yes, we made it legal but with rules. Good going sheriff department.

PitMix Nov 02, 2018 09:11 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

We are talking big money for this operation. Who would fund it knowing that there was a chance it could be confiscated? Seems crazy to me.

Concerned4Calif Nov 02, 2018 08:20 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

State and Local government is now a huge stakeholder in legalize pot as they are relying on the tax dollars. They have to eliminate the competition especially since it is cheaper, primary because of the high taxes. We have simply replace one supplier with another more expensive one.

ZeroHawk Nov 02, 2018 09:34 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

exactly, this is a system where the sheriff department are working with retailers to wipe out competition. why else would they do this? boredom? it's not illegal. well maybe it's the same as jaywalking... again, i ask, if a liquor store didn't file some papers properly, and were in trouble, would the sheriff department come in and destroy all of the liquor? nope...

shorebird Nov 01, 2018 08:58 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

MTNDRIVER: I chose the color when I signed up for membership. Actually wish I could change it. It’s too light. I see that my 2 posts about the inadvisability of illegal pot have disappeared. Pushed a few buttons, did I? (Said with Yoda’s voice.)

mtndriver Nov 01, 2018 05:21 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

I agree. I don't use pot but if I did I would want to be sure it was grown without toxic chemicals or additives. But what I really want to know is how do you get your text gold, shorebird?

shorebird Nov 01, 2018 03:31 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

You can’t run an illegal still, produce illegal wine and you can’t grow marijuana without following the laws. You can do it legally. It’s just that simple. More complicated if you decide to be a crook.

SantaBarbaraObserver Nov 01, 2018 01:46 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

I am so glad that we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to cut these plants down instead of spending it on enforcing any one of the thousands of other crimes and annoyances that impact our community. Its really great to see these $125k a year LEO's using a weedwhacker while wearing their tactical gear as well. Super job boys! Its also great that these types of efforts push the illegal grows deeper into public lands so they can destroy the natural terrain and make the cartels even more money.

a-1556016601 Nov 01, 2018 01:31 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

This is a good thing. It's acknowledging the product, and the regulations. And, for the growers who go by the rules, they appreciate enforcement against those who are law-breakers. There are rules for things. There are rules for alcohol, and for cigarettes. They, too, are legal. The pot growers are not being picked on. Pot is now a business. Taxes, and all that.

ZeroHawk Nov 02, 2018 09:29 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

so if a business that sells alcohol gets in trouble or sells to a minor, the cops come in and destroy all of the booze? not at all. this is still an ongoing war against pot. totally useless war and waste

a-1556016601 Nov 02, 2018 12:59 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

Yes. It's not longer a felony to grow pot even if you don't have a license. So you might note they are getting people for lying to the county instead and making false claims to law enforcement. Aside from HUGE grows like this, in which case there might be some misdemeanor they can throw at them.

midair Nov 01, 2018 01:25 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

Another gigantic waste of taxpayer dollars and law enforcement time and energy. But the Sheriff has to justify his helicopter somehow.

a-1556016601 Nov 01, 2018 12:38 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

WHY??? It is legal now. Why can't they leave it alone? We, the voters, decided to stop wasting all the money and time persecuting this plant. Why can't the cops just let it go and spend their $$ and time fighting REAL crimes? Useless and a waste!

a-1556016601 Nov 02, 2018 05:25 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

Lots of reasons for not leaving illegal grows alone, not the least of which is the grows following the process to be legal.

ZeroHawk Nov 02, 2018 09:27 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

totally agree and it really annoys me that even 5 people voted this post down. this is, again, a massive waste of our tax dollars and resources. there is nothing wrong with a plant in it's natural form. you want to bust drugs? go after the heroin, coke, and pillpushers and leave the weeds alone. we voted. get over it. it's a done deal friends...

a-1556016601 Nov 01, 2018 12:28 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

Glad for laws, rules and regulations...there for a purpose. Glad for law enforcement. Thank you, Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau. Keep up the good work!

ZeroHawk Nov 01, 2018 12:17 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

again, massive waste of resources and tax dollars to fight something that IS LEGAL. The locals should NOT be working for the feds. before you start siding with them, let me ask you this. what would happen if they let the crops alone? Nothing . Simply nothing. There is no crime being committed. The plants and the flowers are legal in this state.

a-1556016601 Nov 02, 2018 01:03 AM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

The main thing is that anyone that does not have a license cannot sell in California which means that no legal business can buy their pot. So what the Sheriffs department and the county know is that this weed will all go to the black market. There is a big push to get every grower legal. I spoke to a cannabis business that is going through all of the hoops to be legit and they are glad the Sheriff's department is cracking down on the illegal grows.

pstarSR Nov 01, 2018 04:42 PM
400,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants Seized

we voted for it, with rules. this grow broke the rules. we need to stop making it out like its ok to skirt the rules, if we want this to work we have to follow the rules.

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