Four marijuana eradication operations in six days resulted in the discovery of 10 large grow sites in Santa Barbara County and the arrests of two men.
"This was a large Campaign Against Marijuana Planting(CAMP) effort that involved a number of agencies including California Department of Justice (DOJ) special agents, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, local and federal agencies," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). "Ten grow sites, 28,000 plants on forest land. The law enforcement officers involved in this eradication operation are very much at risk when they enter these grow sites. As are any unsuspecting hikers."
Here is the rundown:
- Thursday, July 18 - three grow sites, 2,500 plants
- Friday, July 19 - one grow site, 5,700 plants, one arrest - Jose Humberto Rivera, 46, of Ventucopa
- Monday July 22 & 23 - six grow sites, 19,000 plants, one arrest - Jose Garcia-Armas, 34, of Los Angeles
All of the plants, trash and toxic chemicals were transported out of National Forest lands by helicopter. In much of these grow sites, native vegetation is cut down, natural water supplies are diverted and toxic chemicals can harm the environment and wildlife.