Millions in marijuana plants destroyed in Stanislaus County
LA GRANGE, CA – Law enforcement agents in Stanislaus County harvested and destroyed more than 7,000 marijuana plants, with a street value estimated at more than $15 million, growing throughout the area Thursday.
Around 4 a.m. Thursday 15 agents, assisted by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Air Support Unit, used four-wheel-drive vehicles to access remote locations on private property near the town of La Grange. Agents described the grows as “sophisticated” with suspects using electric pumps to irrigate the marijuana plants.
No suspects were located or arrested, however agents said there had been individuals camping at the crops.
“Whoever was there camping was gone when we arrived,” said Doug Ridenour Jr, a drug enforcement agent with the county. “These marijuana grows can be dangerous for anyone who stumbles upon them because there are usually armed suspects who are there to protect the plants.”
Marijuana grows are a very lucrative crime, officials said.
Plants were located on property near the intersection of Junction 59 and Highway 132 in La Grange, the 29000 block of Highway 132, the 21000 block of Highway 132 and the 21000 block of Lake Road, all of which are in Stanislaus County. Agents developed information about the grows and were able to go to all the locations today. Officials said the plants varied in size from a few inches tall to more than 11 feet.
“Some of these plants have been growing for a long time and were producing a large amount of marijuana,” Ridenour said.