More Pot Farms Busted Near Panorama Point - Mountain News : Crime Log

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More Pot Farms Busted Near Panorama Point

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Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 11:07 am

Investigators found several plots of marijuana growing in the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) below Panorama Point near Crestline, the second pot farm bust in just nine days. The discovery on Aug. 10 resulted in the seizure of nearly 5,200 cannabis plants, valued at approximately $15.6 million.

This brings the two-week total take to 13,000 plants, worth approximately $39 million.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team announced that it conducted the operation along with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) in the San Bernardino National Forest.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s department, investigators believe that members of illegal drug trafficking organizations are responsible for the marijuana grows. They found and removed camping equipment and an abundance of trash, evidence that the suspects had been living near, and caring for, the large marijuana grow. At this time, the suspects are unknown and further information is not available.

Law enforcement officials strongly caution the public to remain alert when hiking in the forest. While some people use marked trails, authorities note that others wander away from these trails. They could be more likely to happen upon a pot farm.

Should you discover marijuana cultivation while hiking in the forest, get out of the area and immediately contact law enforcement.

The unknown suspects who established the marijuana plots cleared away the natural foliage, which causes irreversible damage to the forest. Officials explained that the suspects used natural resources to facilitate and support the grow.

Natural water sources, such as creeks and streams, serve as a water supply for the grow sites. Often times, the suspects will use fertilizers and toxic pesticides. These substances seep into the ground and contaminate the ground water and natural wildlife.

The natural terrain and heavy brush are often used to conceal the grow sites from law enforcement officials.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909) 387-8400 or the USFS at (909) 382-2788. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1 (800) 78-CRIME (27463) or leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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