YREKA, Calif. - Authorities seized over 31,000 illicit marijuana plants in Siskiyou County.
A series of drug raids in Siskiyou County began on Monday. These raids netted over 31,000 marijuana plants, 3,305 pounds of processed marijuana, five firearms, and suspected drug currency.
According to authorities, the illegal plants seized ranged in value from $95 to $285 million dollars.
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey says raids occurred between Monday, August 31 thru Friday, September 4, 2020. The locations were Butte Valley (Red Rock, Antelope area, Pleasant Valley Highland Estates) and Mount Shasta Vista.
52 search warrants were served in Siskiyou County as part of the effort. Six drug trafficking suspects were arrested and later cited and released into the local Siskiyou County Superior court.
The partnership agencies were the California Department of Justice's (DOJ) Campaign Against Marijuana Planting CAMP); the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); United States Forest Service (USFS; SCSO (Jail, Detective, Field, and Dispatch); California Highway Patrol, Agents from the North State Major Investigation Team (NSMIT); Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT), California Department of Fish & Wildlife; Trinity County Sheriff's Office; Etna Police Department (NSMIT); California Army and Air National Guard (Counter Drug Unit). The Siskiyou County Public Works Department and Siskiyou County Planning Department (code enforcement) provided assistance and support during the search warrant operations.
Siskiyou County's ordinance prohibits all outdoor cannabis cultivation. Growers are limited to 12 plants inside an approved structure, only for medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana possession on private property, pursuant to Prop 64, is limited to six marijuana plants, per parcel, which may be grown in a residence or other approved, enclosed structure (by adults only.)
A recent county ordinance has been enacted to help mitigate the overwhelming illegal marijuana, said Sheriff Lopey, explaining that fines have been increased to address building, sewer, water, refuse, and illegal marijuana-related individuals -- including a $5,000 a day assessment possible for repeated violations.
The Sheriff said cannabis-related activity have been linked to murders in 2019, and another homicide that occurred last week at a marijuana site. Sheriff Lopey also says marijuana sites and use of the sites have been linked to other deaths, including carbon monoxide poisonings, suicides, and traffic fatalities within the county. Fire danger also very evident in most of the illegal grow sites, said Lopey. He says during current drought conditions, this is "particularly alarming."
Lopey said Siskiyou County is most likely going to triple their number of cannabis plant seizures in 2020.