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Monday, July 27, 2020

US$43 Million Worth Of Cannabis Destroyed In 2-Day Sting in California

"jmulligan13" and "MX" for Borderland Beat

Riverside County in California
More than 84,000 marijuana plants were recently destroyed on 1,000 acres of public and private lands in unincorporated areas near Hemet and Anza (California), the Riverside County Sheriff's Department reported.

A two-day sting operation targeting outdoor illegal marijuana cultivations in the unincorporated areas began July 20, the agency said.

In addition to the plants, 44 pounds of processed marijuana were recovered from a makeshift processing shed. The combination of processed cannabis and growing plants had an estimated street value of $42 million, the sheriff's department said.

"These illegal cultivations cause deforestation, destroy wildlife habitats, pose a threat to the citizens of Riverside County, and utilize hazardous chemical pollutants that cause damage to the environment. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department remains dedicated to eradicating these illegal cultivation sites", the agency said.

The sheriff's sting operation was supported by members of the Hemet Sheriff’s Station, Riverside District Attorney’s Office Cannabis Regulation Task Force, United States Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, and Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, according to the sheriff's department.

No arrests were announced.

Marijuana farms in Riverside County

Below is another recent story about a marijuana farmer from the Riverside County area who wants to go legal but authorities keep raiding his property.

A 65-year-old cannabis farmer from Anza, California, wants to go legal. In the meantime, the police need to stop raiding his property, he says. "I’ve put everything I’ve got into this. We’re not trying to make a million bucks, I’m just passionate about this plant and the people involved with it", the farmer said.

The most impressive feature at Ronnie Bell’s ranch-style house is his indoor cannabis grow. His guest bedroom has been turned into a nursery, complete with a reflective grow tent. In the next room, there are many cannabis plants growing.

But growing pot has come at a price. In the past 24 years Bell, who served 21 years in the U.S. Marines and 21 years in the U.S. Postal Service, has been raided eight times and arrested seven.

“I’m just a peaceful farmer. I want to give this farm to my son one day,” Bell tells Los Angeles Times. His small grow acts as a source of income and supplies him with medicine to treat his back injury.

Bell is a resident of Anza, a town in Riverside County, California, with around 3,000 people. It’s a small town famous for weed where Bell is one of the many unlicensed cannabis growers.
In the past 24 years that he has been growing cannabis, Bell tells the Los Angeles Times, he has been raided eight times and arrested seven.
Cannabis farms are important for small growers in Anza, where “the median household income sits at $41,200,” Edison Gomez-Krauss, a founding member of the High Country Grower’s Assn., which advocates for laxer cannabis cultivation laws, tells Los Angeles Times.

It doesn’t help that Riverside County officials have been conducting thorough raids. “In the last year, the Hemet sheriff’s station conducted or assisted in 31 raids, eradicating 163,704 plants and more than 41 tons of cannabis. Sheriff’s Sgt. Albert Martinez estimated $170 million in plants and processed marijuana were eradicated this year alone. The station will likely double 2019’s number of raids.”

As for the law, Bell is on the wrong side of it. Residents are only allowed to grow six plants, as for medical use, that number goes up to 12 plants. But he says his efforts to be part of the legal framework have been thwarted by the slow-moving bureaucratic process, as no permits have been granted to cultivators in the region.

“Admittedly our process is overly burdensome for the small growers,” County Supervisor Chuck Washington, who oversees Anza Valley, tells Los Angeles Times. “The licensing process by its nature … [is] bureaucratic. It becomes very expensive and out of reach. We haven’t figured out a way to manage that.”

For Bill, meanwhile, the grow is everything. “I’ve put everything I’ve got into this. We’re not trying to make a million bucks, I’m just passionate about this plant and the people involved with it.”


  1. HaHaHajajaja......I just lived thru an 8 hour rampage around my neck of the woods with all the same agencies except different county. Lots of helicopter action, a convoy made of up several different authorities/ agencies and complete w heavy equiment and chippers. I got in several hours of Bird entertainment w camo guys dangling off cables for the drop-ins and pick-ups, no small feat in my neck o da woods. AS usual, no one could be heard on the Scanner, they birds did not show up on RadarFlight24, and there has been no press releases. Hmmmmm.....Relatively, small choppers, ( No Hueys like the olden times) but they flew super low, so low I could complain. 500 ft is usually the elevation limit, but considering the extremely rough terrain, I guess they decided the aerial show was the only option. I could , literally, look these guys in the eyes w/o binos and UNfortunately mi Casa Solar happened to be in their flight path , right in between the two properties that were busted. CA Fish and Wildlife was defintely involved. They have been hitting water violators HARD.

    1. Good!!!! And they should!!!

    2. Like wth r u talking about girl??

    3. It is time for this guy to GO LEGAL if he is that determined.

  2. All this show for something that’s semi-legal. It just depends wether you have the money to make it legal or not

  3. Pot farmers ok fine
    Get rid of the meth heads that live there

  4. .... and why do you find persecution of a peaceful veteran ... funny yaqui ?

    1. I did not hear her laughing.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. sorry accidently removed. if you want just resend i will post

  5. why destroy this & not distribute it to dispensaries so they can sell to people??? basically a waste burning all that imo

    1. It wouldn't pass the certification. too may pesticides.

  6. I hate grifa, addicts and traffickers, but the worst addicts are the ones addicted to the taxes grifa generales, and that includes the marketing and prosecutions of illegal farmers and dealers and users,
    Addiction to Money is hard to give up.

  7. Oh, to be downwind a slight distance from the fire!

  8. I AM sorry, I did not really mean the HAHA as a FUNNY haha......If you had ever lived through what goes on with all these multi agency is NOT funny. It is extremely stressful. Even for me , and I AM NOT A GROWER, a point I wish to emphasize. I know, it sounds like 84, 000 plant grow is huge. It is big, but there are plenty bigger.
    It is not the plant, it is the people. This guy seems like his mission in life is to change the culture of acceptance to legalization. I actually admire his outdoor field grow.WAY better than chopping down holes in the forest, illegal grading, illegal water diversions along with boatloads of plastic to pop up "greenhouses" everywhere illegally. That is partially what I am surrounded by. The air show WAS pretty amusing.Still no word on who got popped.


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