Sunday, June 10, 2018

Feds and Ca State Officials Crackdown on Mexican Cartel Grows Again

Posted by Yaqui for Borderland Beat

Feds and California State authorities seek a crackdown on Mexican cartel pot grows on public lands as they ramp up the efforts to keep illegal grows and growers from poisoning more of California's wildlife, streams, rivers and people.

June 10, 2018
Material from: Redheaded Blackbelt, Ukiah Daily Journal and Houston Times Standard

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and U.S. Attorney and Eureka native McGregor Scott said during a news conference last week that they want to “redouble” efforts to eradicate illegal marijuana grows and pesticide use on public lands that are ravaging the environment and putting the general public at risk.
While the stance on cannabis’ legality drastically differs between the state and federal governments, the two attorneys said illegal grows and pesticide use on public lands is banned by both governments and will serve to benefit the public if eliminated through cooperation.

But Becerra warned the window of time is closing to incentivize growers to join the state’s fledgling legalized marijuana market rather than continue in or enter the black market. Ramping up enforcement at all levels, Becerra said, will work to deter further illegal grows.

“There is a lot of money to be made right now ... doing it the wrong way,” Becerra said at the Robert T. Matsui U.S. Courthouse. “If we don’t let folks that want to try to do this the right way know that there’s an infrastructure they can use, they’re not just going to stop.”

Scott, the son of a Eureka attorney, said this “manifest problem” has reached “biblical proportions” in California. Scott placed the majority of the blame of this on the proliferation of large scale grows by Mexican cartels, particularly on federal lands.

‘A game-changer’

While he said cartel marijuana grows on public lands has occurred in the past, Scott said recent research by people such as UC Davis research associate and Integral Ecology Research Center Executive Director Mourad Gabriel of Humboldt County has shown there has been a proliferation of the use of illegal pesticides that contaminate water, soils and wildlife.

“This is a game-changer to me,” Scott said. “It’s gone to a different level. If we don’t reverse the environmental effects of what’s going on here, we’re going to be reaping that.”

Gabriel said of the nearly 300 grow sites in California he has studied since 2012, the percentage of grows that use the illegal pesticide carbofuran or have evidence showing they have has increased dramatically in recent years — from 12 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2017.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore said these deadly pesticides can be ingested by federally and state protected species like spotted owls. Illegal water diversions are also exacerbating impacts to critical watersheds throughout the state.

        Granted this video is a couple years old but the problem has only gotten worse.

Gabriel compared the impacts to California’s Gold Rush:

“What is past is prologue,” Gabriel said. “That is, we are now at the precipice to either repeat the same story line and legacy impacts that the era such as the Gold Rush imprinted on this state or proactively address this in order to conserve our natural resources for future generations to use and enjoy.”

Details on how this new enforcement approach will play out were vague at the news conference. But Scott did outline some of his own goals including bringing the category of these environmental crimes from misdemeanor offenses to felony offenses.

Scott said they will also work on how to “reach back into Mexico and get the kingpins and get the people who are ultimately behind this whole operation.”

“Because we’re not satisfied with just the three or four people that we find in the grow site,” Scott said. “We want to get the people who are really making the money off of this.”

The marijuana itself is almost secondary to the black market money and environmental damage, Scott said.

Becerra’s office is also seeking to focus more enforcement attention on financial crimes and organized crime relating to marijuana. Gov. Jerry Brown included $14 million in his May Revise to the state budget for the purpose of creating five investigative teams in Becerra’s office to look into those crimes and marijuana mail deliveries.

Threats to people and wildlife:

Illegal cannabis grows on federal lands is primarily a California issue, according to U.S. Forest Service Director of Law Enforcement Tracy Perry who said 1.4 million of the 1.5 million plants removed from public lands nationwide were in California.

Moore, whose department oversees the Forest Service, said the more funding and attention the Forest Service has to put on cleaning up illegal grow sites diverts money away from some of their primary duties such as making forests more resilient to wildfires. California had its most destructive fire season on record in 2017. These grows often put their employees and members of the public using public lands at risk of running into armed people who are protecting their grows, Moore said, and pesticides can also be ingested by animals that are killed by hunters.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said that investigators and public land users should not have to face the potential of walking into fish hooks hung at eye level or trip wires attached to shotgun shells that are used as defense measures at illegal grow sites.

                                      How could I have forgotten these priceless photos ?

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said his county is “absolutely overwhelmed” by illicit grows to the point that the county’s Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency.

            Unnamed Suspect Detained; a fairly rare occurrence if this was indeed a Cartel Grow

Becerra said the reason to combat these illegal grows is not limited to the environmental damage, but because they are a danger to the general public. He called on state legislators to recognize this priority as they work to pass the budget in the next month.

“In California, we finally will have some resources put at our disposal,” Becerra said.

“But if the local law enforcement officials and state officials don’t get the resources and the infrastructure, the architecture to get this right, the work that the federal government does along with what’s already being done at the local and state level will not be enough because there is just too much money in them there hills.”

Scott said about $2.5 million was appropriated to the U.S. Forest Service by the budget omnibus bill that was passed earlier this year and that about 90 percent of that money will come to California and local law enforcement.

“We’ve got a manifest enforcement effort that is well down the planning stages, and we’ll be back,” Scott said in conclusion.

Summer convoy season is rolling. Today, we have a Department of Fish and Wildlife convoy containing a chipper heading west out Briceland Thorn Road. Interestingly, we have one report that the chipper and at least some of the vehicles came from down south. According to that witness, what was likely the same convoy with Fish and Wildlife vehicles and a chipper was seen heading north on Benbow Hill before 7 a.m.

Generally, convoys coming from the south are connected with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. And, if they turned west out Briceland, it likely means they are headed to the Whale Gulch area which is in Mendocino County. But, the Department of Fish and Wildlife throws a new ingredient in the recipe so…we’ll try and get you answers on what’s happening. Heads up though…if Fish and Wildlife are in charge, it could take us awhile because they often don’t provide even details about an operation if it’s a part of a current investigation.

Many clean up efforts are almost exclusively done by supervised Volunteers and community members of often close knit small communities in very rural areas. In some areas, drought and more growing tolerance has driven some cartel and other illicit grows off remote Public Lands and closer into more urban areas with access to Municipal water supplies.

A person wrote in a comment along with this aerial photo when this story was published: "Please Start Here" they begged.

This article does not even mention other serious issues such as what I call: Mountain Top Removal Grows, where greedy folks bring in heavy equipment, illegal log, bulldoze mountain top or ridge top plots with plenty of erosion to go around and suck complete watersheds dry by pumping water a couple thousand feet uphill, adding to the stress of the already stressed or sorry state of California's once famous fish spawning streams and have no intention of trying to comply with the "Going Legal" concept, which I acknowledge is fraught with problems. However, these are also not the average Mom and Pop growers who mostly try to be low key and keep their grows to local limits (25) and incorporated into their homesteading lifestyle.

After years of protests and legal battles to get logging companies to improve their extraction methods and move toward sustainable practices ( some of which have and other huge swaths of old growth forest has been protected ) these growers have taken the place of mistreating the very same watersheds some of us worked hard for years to save. Its not the plant, its the people.

37 comments:

  1. Becerra will have the “growers” arrested then released but not deported?

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    Replies
    1. no the growers are mostly tweeker/hippie type whiteboys with dreadlocks but u know they always blame the mexicans

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    2. They rarely catch the cartel growers that are still out in the woods. That grow in the video is Cartel Mexicano %100. No self respecting N Ca grower grows like that anymore. Some of these guys get dropped off in the woods in the middle of nowhere, they don't even know what state they are in and they are bringing those outlawed pesticides in with them from Mexico. They often kill anything they can eat too. That dead Bighorn Ram makes me cry. I wonder if they even know that the worst of those chemicals get in the food chain; NOT that they care obviously. I have literally seen animals staggering around and birds falling out of the sky and flopping around here AND in Mexico where rancheros still snare trap “ varmits” baited with 10/ 80. Hideous.

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  2. Some analysis, please. What does it cost to produce a ton of sellable weed in The Golden Triangle (Mexico) and The Golden Triangle (California)? What does it cost to distribute? It must be cost-effective to grow in CA and then ship to the flyover states where weed remains strictly illegal, or they wouldn't do it.

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    1. Emerald Triangle in CA. 10k(22 lbs) Mexican cannabis in LA for 380. Thanks. Eureka 1 lb as low as 200. Big difference right...

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    2. Don’t forget about quality.. Some Jefes in Mexico get bud from Cali brought in.

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  3. Is all that equipment and mountain top grows invisible?
    I don't hate to have to ask the idiot question, but there needs to be some intelligent response...
    --maybe Facklifhornya has been looking the other way because local growers export their pinchis yerbas to the other states and that brings cash in, and it pays some taxes too.

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    Replies
    1. Ya think ! Well, they are in for the big marijuana recession now that it’s $200 a pound instead of $5,000.

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    2. Yaqui, $200 a pound? You must be the undercover boss for real! Or maybe it’s that outdoor 馃挬. NY sour ain’t going for $200 in Cali.

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    3. I don’t know about that , but my alternate personality , “The Psycho Bitch from Hell”, comes up real quick when I find out someone is bear baiting or using rodenticides and 10-80 or snare traps.

      PS: good organic outdoor is making a comeback. They can pass all the tests for the dispensaries.

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  4. Domt panic all it is a endless battle, n job security for many law enforcement agencies!

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  5. i would think law enforcement agencies would have stepped up patrols in California. Not because i look down upon weed but the law needs to be respected, that is why we have it good in Cali. Cant just do what ever you want,,, this aint Mexico.

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    1. How is weed growing hurting you directly?

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    2. @10:59 did u watch the video? Unsafe and ilegal weed growing is hurting anything and everyone directly when we cross it. Stop getting offended and look at the bigger picture here (aka the article!!)

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    3. 10:50 who said this was mexico?
      I guess you hear little voices,
      --if all of California law enforcement chose to look the other way what ya gana do?

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    4. 10:59 some of the damages these grifa grows cause are listed in the report, I look down on grifa and mariguanos, specially those that have no illness but like to have their grifa for the hell of it, the whole grifa thing makes ME puke, and it is not politics or religion, but if you can get away with it I don't care either.

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    5. 5:24,10:59... we have laws for a reason. Now like i said i would think that by now agencies would have this under control. Got nothing against the mighty green plant, just do it legaly. And if a crime has ever been committed against you?? did you not want law to protect you. Do you just let it slide? The point is walk a straight line, its for everybodys benefit.

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    6. You danced around the question.the question was how does it affect YOU directly?

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    7. 3:34 OBVIOUSLY "it" makes your boy pontificate, others will laugh uncontrollably until they piss on their panties, whole some real whacko persons get violent paranoid on second hand smoke, in spite of all the goodie goodie two shoe ambassadors of good will for grifa, pinchis mariguanos baratos.

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    8. On this side of border we have laws, thats why everybody is dying to come here. Do you see people dying to go down south?? i dont think so 3:34. Our system works. Keep it working.

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    9. Let me make it simple for you sir.the question was how does it impact you in your day to day life?noone is talking about the law.

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  6. the fact that these growers are not certified, theres no credentials no verification who it belongs to therefore unable to be regulated and taxed by the government is what makes it illegal and if something that the DEA considers illegal and have no idea who it belongs to its easy to blame Mexican Cartels, yet cells operating it the US take a different approach to the bussiness than those in Mexico, here they rather avoid attention and hide their illegal activities within what seems like a legit bussiness and Weed took a 180 degree turn, there is alot of weed being grown like most legal growers do it, indoors monitored and taken cared of and seems lefit like it will make its way to dispensaries yet it now makes its way to mexico where the rich kids pay big bucks for it.

    the feds will always stick their noses
    either they send the IRS or the DHS

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    Replies
    1. First it was the cartels flooding the US with Mexican grifa,
      And now you are accusing the gabacho of invading the Rich Boys' Mexican markets and planning to prosecute them too, Her Honor?

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  7. This is a real problem that surprisingly doesn't get much exposure to Californians

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  8. The 'balloon effect'.They will just go somewhere else like maybe Oregon.1 good thing about indoor grow ops you don't need pesticides except for spider mites at least north of the 49th degree of latitude.

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    Replies
    1. Ever grow more than a few plants?

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    2. Oregon doesn’t know what to do with their weed. They are composting it or so I hear/ read.
      I think I am at the point now that I hope the mega grows move to Sacramento or San Joaquin Valleys and Los Mexicanos can set it up, tend it , harvest it just like almost ALL the other food, wine and meat crops, they do most of the work in the “ Breadbasket “ that feeds America. People not in California apparently just don’t know it , I guess.

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    3. We could try mota from the real gangsters that originated the name assassins form their dirty hasish habits, Morocco is famous in their circles, tangiers, every middle east arab has the best in the world.

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  9. Simply open a hunting season on anyone at illicit grow sites.

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    Replies
    1. On other countries they used Paraquat on the grifa crops,
      but in the US? Oh, no, no, the US ain't going for that...

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    2. If you stumble upon a cartel grow, the stupidest thing you could do would be to confront them. Better hope you have an automatic weapon and they don't see you first.
      They will kill you if they catch you.

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    3. @12:51 Oh, those death squads are out there, don’t kid yourself. And they aren’t usually redneck racist gunnuts either. Your Tax $$ are funding them.

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    4. 12:12 righteous death squads always put themselves above the law, but they get proven wrong all the time.

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  10. 99%.9 of you on here having never seen the emerald triangle in person only in picture books.

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    Replies
    1. Wrong! I saw it on YouTube.

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  11. Read about this one.. It happened on the central coast. About an hour and a half away from San Francisco..

    https://m.sfgate.com/local/article/17-tons-of-opium-poppy-plants-found-at-8-Monterey-12957256.php

    -the guy who knows nothing

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    Replies
    1. hey thanks Guy, I will Post it.

      Delete

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