Last week, Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team Agents and Madera County Sheriff’s Office deputies served five search warrants related to illegal marijuana cultivation in Oakhurst, O’Neals, and Coarsegold, eradicating 2,159 plants.
* Agents seized 579 marijuana plants from a residence on Black Ranch Road off Crane Valley Road (423) in Oakhurst. Two suspects detained during the search warrant were also involved in a marijuana cultivation case in Chowchilla in 2013.
* Agents seized 393 marijuana plants from a residence on Road 200 in O’Neals. This residence was also the focus of a 2014 investigation. No one was located at the residence during the search.
* Agents seized 12 marijuana plants from a residence on Road 406 in Coarsegold. There was no one located at the residence, and more than 150 marijuana plants had been harvested prior to law enforcement’s arrival.
* Agents seized 648 marijuana plants from a residence on Picayune Falls Road in Coarsegold - 204 being grown outdoors and 444 plants being grown indoors. About 40 pounds of processed marijuana and a .22 caliber rifle were also seized.
* Agents seized 527 marijuana plants from an outdoor growing operation at a residence on Comstock Drive in Coarsegold. A search warrant was also served on this location in 2014 where 607 marijuana plants were seized.
According to the sheriff’s office, these cases do not appear to have a connection with Mexican drug cartels, however all identified suspects are of Southeast Asian descent. At the conclusion of the investigations MADNET will be seeking charges against the identified suspects.
The estimated street value of the 2,159 plants at maturity is more $2.2 million.
A normal marijuana plant consumes about five gallons of water per day. The illegally grown marijuana plants seized last week alone were consuming almost 11,000 gallons of water daily.
MADNET operates a 24/7 hotline. Anyone with information about illicit drug activity in Madera County is urged to call (559) 675-7776.
- Madera County