Over 2,500 illegal marijuana plants seized in Siskiyou County
Adding to their 2019 total, the Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT) seized thousands of illegal marijuana plants in the Klamath River Country Estates area of Siskiyou County on Friday.
"Last week’s seizure of 2,528 illicit marijuana plants and the 44 pounds of processed marijuana confiscated on various private land parcels again illustrates the extent of the illicit marijuana cultivation and drug trafficking problem in Siskiyou County," Siskyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said. "The 25,750 total illegal plants seized in recent weeks (2019) along with approximately 942.7 pounds of processed marijuana on private property parcels clearly substantiate a serious illegal drug trafficking challenge."
The recent seizures included eight search warrants served on ten parcels, including illegal marijuana cultivation sites on White Pine Road, Palomino Place, Clark Road, Wolverine Drive, Butterfly Lane, and Blue Gill Drive. The plants and processed marijuana were located in both outdoor grow sites and greenhouses on rural country KRCE parcels.
"These illicit drug operations are adversely impacting public health, safety, our environment, and the quality of life in our own county," Lopey said. "My main concern is the danger this growing problem poses to our children and the destruction frequently inflicted on our fragile environment."
Lopey says each of these crimes are still under investigation and charges are pending against property owners implicated in the illicit drug trafficking operation.
"Annual year-to-date values of the 25,750 illegal marijuana plants seized, based on a mature, 3-pound average yield per-plant, equates to a retail black market value on the Eastern United States (US) retail drug market ranges from $154.5 million to $231.7 million," Lopey said. "The processed marijuana year-to-date seizures (942.7 pounds), based on Eastern US illicit retail drug market values range from approximately $1.9 million to $2.8 million."
Some of the locations where seizures took place also had a large quantity of trash, refuse and fire dangers. SIMIT located a small puppy at one site that was without food or water, exposed to the sun. It was taken into protective custody by investigators.
Siskiyou County officials have enacted an ordinance that prohibits all outdoor marijuana cultivation in county areas and growers are limited to 12-plants inside an approved structure, for medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana possession on private property, pursuant to Prop 64, is limited to 6 marijuana plants, which may be grown in a residence or other enclosed structure.