Nearly 10,000 pot plants found in forest

July 23, 2013 

Agents with Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team, sworn personnel with Madera County Regional SWAT Team, US Forest Service and Fish & Wildlife and CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) personnel just completed a several hour long eradication mission in the Sierra National Forest.

Well before dawn this morning, agents were dropped into the gardens via STABO (Short Tactical Airborne Operation) near Fish Creek (several miles above North Fork), at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, where they then had to hike through steep terrain to reach the gardens.

Nearly 10,000 marijuana plants were removed, along with 800 pounds of waste, and roughly 2 1/2 miles of an elaborate drip irrigation system.

The entire crop, if harvested could have fetched the growers as much as $24 million.

No arrests were made during the mission.

Based on evidence seized in these gardens, agents believe this growing operation has ties to a Mexican Drug Trafficking organization. The investigation is ongoing.

Sheriff John Anderson urges the public to continue phoning in tips to the MADNET hotline at (559) 675-7776.

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