Wednesday, 12 June 2024

REGIONAL: Sonoma officials open marijuana eradication season with big find

SONOMA COUNTY – With the marijuana growing season under way on the North Coast, Sonoma County Sheriff's officials found a large illegal grow on Thursday with an estimated worth of more than $21 million.


The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit completed its marijuana season eradication opener approximately 12 miles west of Lake Sonoma in the area of Old Skaggs Springs Road, where a citizen reported finding a marijuana garden in the vicinity while hunting.


When detectives hiked into the area, they located a large garden site, leading to the eradication of 10,500 marijuana plants, Detective Sgt. Chris Bertoli reported.


The plants ranged from 3 to 4 feet in height, Bertoli said. A nearby spring had been diverted to provide the water source for the plants, and the hillside had been cleared of native vegetation to accommodate the operation. An unoccupied campsite was located in an area next to the garden, and it appeared to be only one person tending to the garden.


The estimated street value of the total plants at harvest would be $21 million dollars based on a price of $2,000 a pound.


Sheriff's officials reminded people who discover gardens on their property not to attempt to confront individuals, and to immediately leave the area.


Property owners and citizens also are encouraged to report suspicious persons and activities to the sheriff's office for investigations.


Suspicious activity could be identified as individuals observed coming and going from remote areas at abnormal hours; Bertoli said these same subjects could be dressed in camouflage clothing, vehicles observed parked along roadways for no apparent reason for long periods of time, and individuals attempting to leave camping supplies along roadways in rural areas.


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