According to the Sheriff’s Office, 22 search warrants were served in the first six months of 2017 resulting in the seizure of 477 pounds of processed cannabis, 13 firearms and two butane honey oil labs. 20 criminal cases are now pending in the county.
The seizures were part of a series of counter-drug operations in unincorporated areas of Siskiyou County including Shasta Vista, Klamath River Country Estates in the Hornbrook area, as well as in Weed, Lake Shastina, Montague, Big Springs and Iron Gate.
The marijuana that was seized has an estimated worth of $28.2 million dollars on the wholesale market and $94 million dollars on the retail market.
“We are still seeing large scale illicit cannabis grow sites in many county areas and these recent operations prove there is a large scale effort by many illegal growers to violate the law and existing county guidelines, which do not permit more than 12 medical cannabis plants,” said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey. “There is also mounting evidence of large scale, organized crime efforts to finance the numerous illicit grow sites that have been observed or eradicated.”
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office formed the Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team in 2016. The team has assumed the primary mission of enforcing drug-related laws and the county’s marijuana ordinance for private property.
Another task force, the California Department of Justice North State Marijuana Investigation Team is working with the United States Forest Service to bust illegal grows.
The most recent seizure for that team was on USFS land in the Highland Creek area on the north fork of the Salmon River. That operation resulted in the eradication of 7,000 illegal cannabis plants and the arrests of five people, all of whom were illegal immigrants who have since been turned over to ICE.
“We appreciate the information and support we are receiving from the Siskiyou County residents impacted by these illegal cultivation sites,” said Sheriff Lopey. “I urge any citizen or group to contact me or another department leader if they have any questions about our existing ordinance.”
Anyone with information about an illegal marijuana cultivation site is asked to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour dispatch center at 530-841-2900.