Tulare Sheriffs make gain in eradicating marijuana

Over the past two weeks Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department S.T.E.P. Unit made a serious dent in illegal marijuana growing operations. They accomplished four arrests after completing several months of investigations by conducting marijuana grow site raid/eradication operations on public and private lands throughout the mountainous areas of Tulare County.

According to reports, these operations were conducted with the assistance of Federal Officers from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s C.E.R.T. program (Cannabis Eradication & Reclamation Teams). The C.E.R.T. program has replaced the state run C.A.M.P. program.

One of the marijuana growing operations was very close to popular Trail of 100 Giants in Giant Sequoia National Monument

Officers successfully raided 11 marijuana gardens over the two week period. Four suspects were apprehended in various grow sites during raids. Additional suspects fled into the thick underbrush and steep terrain and have not been apprehended. Approximately 106,529 live marijuana plants were seized during these operations. According to a spokesman, if allowed to fully mature each of these plants would yield in excess of one pound of usable marijuana bud with a street value over $3,000 per pound. The total combined monetary value of these grows would be over $319,587,000.

In addition to the marijuana plants seized, detectives also seized several firearms, ammunition for various pistols, rifles and shotguns, and multiple pounds of fertilizer, pesticides and rat poison. Carcasses of various animals were discovered in several of the grow sites, including an endangered Ring-Tailed Cat, and evidence of a bear cub who was apparently shot by growers on U.S. Forest lands.

The following location and arrests were noted:

July 5th – Crawford Creek – Western Divide highway near Walk of 100 Giants. (TCSO Case # 12-60776)

Suspect 1: Isain Cruz Mercado, age 24 of Mexico – Charged with cultivation of marijuana and possessing marijuana for sale, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency hold
Suspect 2: Hugo Alberto Flores Torres, age 28 of Mexico – Charged with cultivation of marijuana and possessing marijuana for sale, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency hold

Deputies contacted and arrested the above listed suspects who had been living in a marijuana grow in the area of the “Walk of 100 Giants” in the Sequoia National Monument on the Great Western Divide Highway. Subsequent investigation eradicated 4541 marijuana plants from this site. This site is scheduled for later reclamation.

July 9th
Backbone Creek 1, 2 & 3 Blue Ridge near Springville

Benito Baldovinos Mendoza, unknown age, of Mexico. Charged with cultivation of marijuana and possessing marijuana for sale, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency hold
Jesus Aguliar, age 49 of Mexico. Charged with cultivation of marijuana and possessing marijuana for sale, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency hold

Detectives apprehended the above listed suspects in this large marijuana grow on private land. Subsequent investigation eradicated 30,617 live marijuana plants from these connected sites

July 10th
Backbone # 4 / Pine Creek, Balch Park

After an early morning insertion, detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on U.S. Forest Service lands. Detectives eradicated 29,238 marijuana plants from the Backbone #4 grow site and 8,160 marijuana plants from the Pine Creek location. Cleanup efforts were completed on the Pine Creek site but due to the size of the Backbone grow site, reclamation efforts are pending.

July 11th
Dry Creek #1 & Persian Creek, Badger TCSO

After an early morning insertion detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on private ranch lands in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Detective’s eradicated 3,078 marijuana plants from the Dry Creek #1 grow site and 7,974 marijuana plants from the Persian Creek location.

July 12th
Bennett Creek, Three Rivers

After an early morning insertion detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on private ranch lands in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Detectives eradicated 2,156 marijuana plants from this location

July 13th
Dry Creek #2 & Dry Creek #3, Badger

Detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on U.S. Forest Service lands as they made entry into the sites. Detectives eradicated 7,445 marijuana plants from the Dry Creek #2 grow site and 13,361 marijuana plants from the Dry Creek #3 location. Cleanup efforts were completed on both sites.

These cases are still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office S.T.E.P. Unit 800-808-0488 or through the TipNow Program. Text, voicemail or email 559-725-4194 or tcso@tipnow.com.

Read More:

Foothills Sun-Gazette: Cadre of cops crackdown on cannabis camps

Recorderonline: $300 million in marijuana plants seized

Tulare Sheriffs make gain in eradicating marijuana was last modified: January 11th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Fresno, Tulare

Comments

  1. Mitthi
    Mitthi 1 December, 2012, 21:39

    Yeah, as a result of your rcneet posts, we now all have a totally different opinion of you!Moving on.I figure it should be legalized as well. Enough people smoke (ahem… toke) on the streets, so why not stop wasting time on busting marijuana users and focus on the real badasses.I think we all have far more to worry about than people getting high on weed.

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