Big Bear sweep comes during pot season’s peak

BIG BEAR LAKE — A San Bernardino County task force led a sweep through the mountain area Wednesday, confiscating thousands of marijuana plants at a time when they were likely to be harvested for sale.

Two months ago, county Sheriff Rod Hoops said that 12 to 15 grows had been spotted in the San Bernardino mountains. They were targeted for eradication.

“There’s a three-to-four month window in the grow season and this is the peak time,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire said on Friday.

Nearly 5,300 marijuana plants were bagged in the sweep, said Wiltshire.

The Aug. 18 operation was part of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, which includes members of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Riverside and San Bernardino county sheriff’s offices and the California Highway Patrol.

No arrests were made and no suspects were identified as a result of the sweep, said Wiltshire. Investigators are still seeking information and tips to find the growers.

Members of the task force were dropped in by helicopter. The location of the grow was near Big Bear Creek, which is between Big Bear Lake and the San Bernardino Valley in heavy wilderness areas.

“Most of the grows are in very steep terrain and extremely hard to reach in a timely fashion,” Wiltshire said.

The sweeps will continue into October, Wiltshire added. “That’s when the growing season winds down.”

Anonymous tips can be made to the sheriff’s Narcotics Division at (909) 890-4840.

Big Bear sweep comes during pot season’s peak was last modified: July 19th, 2012 by admin

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Lee Brown

Obrey "Lee" Brown has worked for 10 newspapers and magazines in the Bay Area, central and southern California. In 2005, he wrote "A Citrus Test: Football in Black & White." He can be reached at