Bay Area pot busts cited in attorney general
Attorney General Bill Lockyer. File photo 4/29/6
By Lara Moscrip, Bay City News Service
September 8, 2006
Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced Thursday that the state
has destroyed $4.9 billion worth of illegally cultivated marijuana
plants so far during the 2006 eradication season.
The California Department of Justice Campaign Against Marijuana
Planting has destroyed more than 1.2 million illegally grown marijuana
plants this year by conducting raids on gardens with the help
of deployment teams and aerial surveillance, Lockyer reported.
Authorities in Santa Clara County destroyed more than 38,000
plants worth $155,5000 in 2006, according to the report.
This follows the August 29 raid in western Marin County that
uncovered 20,000 illegally cultivated marijuana plants with an
estimated value of $50 million. The National Park Service reported
that the seizure appears to be one of the largest ever in Marin
Some of the marijuana was found on land owned by the Marin Municipal
Water District. According to the National Park Service, some areas
under cultivation suffered extensive resource damage and an assessment
is being conducted.
Trees were damaged and several water holding ponds were dug into
the hillside. An extensive irrigation system was connected to
a spring a half-mile from the site, the National Park Service
Growers are killing wildlife, diverting streams that contain
threatened species of fish and are using harmful pesticides in
the natural areas, park service officials said.
State Department of Justice raids throughout California this
year have led to the destruction of 335 gardens, the arrest of
18 suspects and the seizure of 17 weapons.
Last year, the state's program destroyed more than one million
plants worth nearly $4.5 billion of illegally cultivated marijuana
plants, Lockyer reported.
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