In this image provided by the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, an aerial view of a marijuana field is seen July 5, 2011 near Sanger, California. Fresno County Sheriff's deputies and federal agents found as many as 50,000 marijuana plants, worth an estimated $400 million, growing in a sophisticated operation protected by a six foot barbed wire fence. About 50 workers were taken into custody. The farm was located less than a mile from an elementary school.(The Sanger Herald)
Michael Doyle | McClatchy Newspapers
California's commercial pot growers are moving plots from national forests to Central Valley farmland, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told senators Wednesday.
Citing a "conspicuous shift" in drug cultivation tactics, Mims added that growers also are increasingly using the "guise" of medical marijuana in an effort to protect their work that, arrest records show, frequently relies on illegal immigrants.