Thousands of marijuana plants seized in Siskiyou County during drug raid
The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office coordinated a series of counter-drug operations in Siskiyou County on May 14 and May 17.
In total, they seized 4,464 illegal marijuana plants, 77.5 pounds of processed marijuana, $4,891 dollars in drug currency and several generators.
Nine search warrants were served as a part of the counter-drug operation.
The Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team led the counter-drug raids, focusing their operations on large, illegal marijuana cultivation sites in the Mount Shasta Vista area of the county.
Additionally, Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team detectives assisted the California Highway Patrol on May 16 by writing a search warrant for a vehicle stored at a local tow yard.
The search warrant and subsequent search led to the recovery of an additional 3,200 illegal marijuana plants.
The plants were starter plants and presumed destined for a local illegal marijuana cultivation operation.
Starter plants are typically purchased from commercial marijuana establishments like dispensaries.
Assisting with the operation were patrol deputies, Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office field lieutenants, Special Services Lieutenant and Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team detectives from the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office and members of Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office professional staff evidence property team.
Additionally, six members of the California Army National Guard’s elite counter drug unit assisted with the operation.
The Siskiyou County Public Works Department team also assisted with the transfer and transport of the large early season marijuana plant count tally.
One arrest was made and one citation was issued during the operations.
The arrest included resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer when a suspect attempted to flee on foot after the search warrant operation commenced at the illegal site.
Based on an average county yield of three pounds per plant at maturity and lower retail drug market rates in the Eastern United States due to the flooded black market marijuana situation in California, it is estimated the plants seized during the counter drug operation would ultimately be worth approximately $26,784,000.00 on the illegal retail drug market.
The 77.5 pounds of processed marijuana is worth approximately $154,000.00 on the illegal retail drug market.
Additionally, the California Highway Patrol seizure involving the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office search warrant could total a value of approximately $19,200,000.00 on the East Coast illicit drug market.
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, pursuant to Proposition 64, is limited to six marijuana plants which may be grown in a residence or other enclosed structure.
All outdoor cultivation of marijuana is illegal in unincorporated areas of Siskiyou County.
“This early season seizure of 4,464 illegal marijuana plants, 77.5 pounds of processed, illegal marijuana, and the confiscation of drug proceeds and equipment used in the illegal production and trafficking of marijuana was a success and an exceptional ‘team effort’ on the part of SIMIT, SCSO, CARNG, and Public Works team members. The CHP-SCSO search warrant operation involving the seizure of the additional 3200 illicit plants was a major seizure for this time of the year and will prevent numerous large-scale illegal marijuana cultivation sites from operating at this time. The marijuana seized and the large, commercial quantities eradicated have nothing to do with recreational or medicinal drugs but have everything to do with illicit drug trafficking, which adversely impacts public health, safety, our environment, and the quality of life in our own state, county, and many other jurisdictions. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the participating state and local agencies for contributing to this successful operation," said Sheriff Jon Lopey, the Sheriff of Siskiyou County.
These crimes are still under investigation.
Anyone with information about illegal marijuana cultivation operations in their county neighborhoods or the cases subject to this counter drug operation is urged to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office by calling 530-841-2900.