Authorities in Northern California destroyed more than 42,000 marijuana plants as part of an investigation into illegal cannabis farms on public and private land suspected of hurting the environment.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that local, state and federal officials last week served 28 search warrants to marijuana farms without a permit along the Eel River in northern Mendocino County.
Officials suspect the farms polluted the water with trash, pesticides, generator fuel and damming watersheds.
No arrests were made, but the cases will be submitted to prosecutors at a later date.
The news comes on the heels of a new enforcement campaign, dubbed “Operation Clean Sweep,” announced by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
The July 15-19 effort was a joint investigation by the sheriff’s office and state agencies such as the Department of Food and Agriculture, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Water Resource Board, Cal Fire and California Army National Guard.
Some industry blowback may be in the works, since rumblings of paramilitary raids have been making the rounds in the Emerald Triangle after sightings of Black Hawk helicopters and Army vehicles.
Some marijuana activists and industry insiders are discussing a possible protest in Sacramento to voice opposition to what they call “militarized enforcement.”
A Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office statement provides more details about the Eel River raid.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily