Sonoma County garden bust yeilds pot
worth $51 million
By James Lanaras, Bay City News Service
August 10, 2006
SANTA ROSA (BCN) - A Sonoma County narcotic task force
eradicated 29,195 marijuana plants with an estimated street value
of $51 million during a three-day operation in northwest Sonoma
County near Annapolis, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department
Sgt. Chris Bertoli said agents raided more than 18 garden locations
during the first two days of the operation. They were lowered
by helicopter into the garden sites in thick terrain, Bertoli
On the first day of the operation, 9,818 plants were eradicated
and one handgun was seized, Bertoli said, and on day two, 8,518
plants between 5 and 8 feet tall were eradicated.
Plants that had reached the budding stage were netted from the
gardens and immature plants were destroyed on site. Several campsites
with makeshift water reservoirs were destroyed, Bertoli said.
Narcotics agents split on the third day to conduct simultaneous
raids 14 miles west of Lake Sonoma on Skaggs Springs Road and
five miles up Geysers Road in Healdsburg, Bertoli said. The team
on Skaggs Springs Road eradicated 4,265 plants and the other team
eradicated 6,594 plants, Bertoli said.
The task force has eradicated more than 71,000 plants so far
this season and the California Department of Justice Campaign
Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP, supported the raids, Bertoli
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