SISKIYOU COUNTY - On May 13, 2020, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCS0) and its Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT), in partnership with the North State Major Investigation Team (NSMIT), a drug task force that is led by the California Department of Justice, conducted five counter-drug raids in the Mt. Shasta Vista area of Siskiyou County, netting a combined total of 4,432 illegal marijuana plants and starter clones.
“Law enforcement partnerships such as this provide the resources and expertise needed to put a stop to illegal marijuana cultivation,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Illegal marijuana cultivation leads to numerous crimes against people, property and the environment.”
According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “The illegal marijuana seizures are escalating and the forecast for this year indicates we will have a very active year enforcing local, state, and in some cases, federal marijuana-related laws. The latest operation in Mt. Shasta Vista yielded 4,432 illegal plants, which clearly substantiates the fact that small but organized groups of illegal drug trafficking organizations have gained a toehold in our county. SCSO’s objective, in partnership with federal, state, and local partners is to significantly curtail this blatant, illegal, and harmful drug trade from transforming Siskiyou County into a drug trafficking mecca. We will do all we can to prevent this take-over and exploitation of our county, its people, and our natural resources. I would like to take this opportunity to thank NSMIT, California Department of Justice (Bureau of Investigations), United States Forest Service (Law Enforcement Officers), California Highway Patrol, and the California Army National Guard’s Counter-Drug Unit for assisting SCSO and SIMIT with this important counter-drug operation.”
The counter-drug search warrant operations were conducted in remote locations of the county approximately 27 miles southeast of Yreka.
- The first search warrant operation involved a search of one greenhouse on Catherine Drive, which resulted in the confiscation of 250 illegal marijuana plants.
- The second search warrant operation involved a search of two greenhouses on Catherine Drive, which resulted in the seizure of 501 illicit marijuana plants.
- The third search warrant operation on Catherine Drive resulted in the search of three greenhouses and the seizure of 691 illegal marijuana plants.
- The fourth search warrant operation involved the search of two greenhouses on Mildred Drive, which led to the confiscation of 1,809 illegal marijuana plants.
- Another search warrant yielded 1,181 illegal marijuana plants that were recovered from two greenhouses on Catherine Drive. One man was arrested and later cited and released for illegal marijuana cultivation.
During the past two-weeks, SCSO’s SIMIT and NSMIT have eradicated 5,126 illegal marijuana plants and starter clones in the Mt. Shasta Vista area of the county.
SCSO’s Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT) is a drug task force that primarily enforces current county ordinances and state law that relates to illicit marijuana drug trafficking on private property areas of the county.
NSMIT is a drug task force that is led by the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) and its orientation is regional in nature, but the team spends time in Siskiyou County, enforcing drug laws and the team addresses violent crime and weapons-related offenses.
During 2019, SIMIT and NSMIT seizure totals for Siskiyou County were 61,599 illicit marijuana plants seized and 17,763.5 pounds of processed marijuana confiscated during their operations in various parts of the county.
According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s office: illicit marijuana cultivation sites have endangered people, harmed the environment, and promoted a major interstate drug trafficking industry originating from within the county. Marijuana-related activities have been linked to county murders during 2019 and other deaths, including carbon monoxide poisonings, suicides, and traffic fatalities within the county. Fire dangers are also very evident in most of these illegal grow sites.