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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 6:56 am | Fair 53º


Sheriff’s Investigators Eradicate 2 More Large Marijuana Grows

Latest busts in Santa Barbara County bring the total number of plants destroyed to 14,116, with an estimated value of $7 million

Marijuana plants growing at illegal cultivation site. Click to view larger
Two more large illegal marijuana-cultivation sites were discovered and abated Friday by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s investigators, bringing the total for the week to more than 14,000 pot plants destroyed. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)
Harvested marijuana plants hung up to dry. Click to view larger
Harvested marijuana plants are hung up to dry at one of two cannavis cultivation sites discovered and eradicated on Friday by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s investigators. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

Two more large illegal marijuana-cultivation sites were discovered and abated Friday by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s investigators, bringing the total for the week to more than 14,000 pot plants destroyed.

Investigators from the sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau and Special Enforcement Team served a search warrant Friday on the 6700 block of Foxen Canyon Road, according to Sergeant Daniel Calderon.

“After securing the property, detectives located 658 mature marijuana plants, which were subsequently destroyed,” Calderon said. “At the location, detectives contacted individuals, and interviewed them for further follow up concerning the investigation.”

Personnel from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife assisted in the raid, and gathered evidence concerning potential environmental violations, he added.

A second search warrant subsequently was served on the 2400 block of Highway 246, Calderon said.

“Once this property was secured, detectives saw a very large marijuana cultivation site in various stages of cultivation and processing of finished product,” Calderon said. “At this location, detectives located and destroyed 7,985 marijuana plants.”

No arrests were made at either locations, but individuals were interviewed and may face charges in the future, Calderon said.

Including three raids that occurred earlier in the week, the sheriff’s eradication program had resulted in the destruction of 14,116 marijuana plants with an estimated value of $7 million, Calderon said.

“The Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team will continue to identify and investigate illegal marijuana cultivation sites within the county,” he added. “The goal of the team is to stop the illegal cultivation of marijuana and prevent the environmental crimes associated with these illegal grows.”

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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