Marijuana house discovered less than a mile from Oakhurst schools

Sierra StarOctober 31, 2013 

Agents attached to the Madera Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET) completed a marijuana eradication Wednesday morning at a home in Oakhurst located on Indian Springs Road, less than a mile from two public schools.

It took one trailer alone just to haul away 360 pounds of packaged processed marijuana ready for sale – all of it found stashed throughout the residence. A second trailer was used to haul eradicated plants as well as harvested plants.

In addition to the 360 pounds of packaged processed marijuana, agents also located 51 recently harvested plants (that would have yielded 51 pounds or more of processed). These plants were found drying in a bedroom, the attached garage and backyard porch.

Agents also seized 19 plants still growing on the property – those would have rendered another 19 pounds or more of processed had they been allowed to mature. Additionally agents seized 138.5 grams of Hashish.

Total amount seized during today’s operation:

* 360 pounds of packaged processed marijuana

* 70 marijuana plants

* 138.5 grams Hashish

Sheriff deputies had visited this home earlier in September because of the outdoor grow, which is in direct violation of the Madera County ordinance stating that grows must be contained within a 120-square foot enclosure, such as a bedroom, green house, or shed. The recent complaints by neighbors about the smell prompted law enforcement to return with a search warrant.

Agents say this home was rental property that had been converted into a marijuana cultivation operation.

There were nine people (seven men and two women) in this three-bedroom two-bath home. With the exception of the renter, the rest of the occupants hail from Fresno, Orange Cove, Del Norte County and Sonoma County.

The investigation is ongoing, with no arrests made at this time.

This is the second time in 2013 Agents have had to tackle illegal marijuana growing and processing operations near public schools. Last month Narcotic Agents, assisted by the Madera Regional SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team, served a search warrant at a home near Coarsegold Elementary School.

Both missions (last month and yesterday) were carried out without injury to anyone, but Sheriff John Anderson says the county has experienced drug-related shootings, and that these illicit growing operations do pose a very real danger to the citizens of Madera County.

It’s been an extremely busy season for MADNET Agents so far this year. Just this month alone, Agents seized almost 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana.

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