Article by The Associated Press via Leafly
More than 27,000 marijuana plants were seized and 35 people arrested in a series of raids in a California county that is trying to crack down on illegal grows as the state prepares to become the world’s largest marijuana marketplace when recreational cannnabis is legalized next year.
The crackdown on more than a dozen farms occurred over four days in different parts of Calaveras County, southeast of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Sheriff Rick DiBasilio said Thursday it was the largest series of raids in county history.
“I want to tell all of the illegal growers that decide to come to Calaveras County: Don’t come, you’re not welcome and we will come for you,” DiBasilio said at a news conference.
The National Guard, as well as the district attorney’s office, the California Highway Patrol and state and county environmental offices were involved in the operation, which took six months of planning, DiBasilio said.
One of the targeted farms, where more than 6,000 plants were seized, is affiliated with the same Rastafarian Church linked to a Yuba County cannabis farm that on Tuesday was the scene of a police shootout. A farmworker there shot two deputies after running into a nearby home and later was found dead inside.