The following press release was issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
On Aug. 4, wildlife officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with support from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, California Department of Food and Agriculture and other allied agencies, served a search warrant spanning two parcels in the Scotts Valley area of Lakeport in Lake County.
The warrant stemmed from an investigation involving environmental damage associated with illegal commercial cannabis cultivation. The operation involved personnel from six separate agencies.
A records check confirmed that neither of the parcels were licensed by the state for commercial cannabis cultivation.
On site, officers and staff eradicated 51,799 illegal cannabis plants, confiscated seven firearms, seized over $27,000 in cash and documented approximately 40 Fish and Game Code crimes.
Violations included garbage piled up near various waterways, numerous unpermitted water diversions, illegal grading of the landscape resulting in sediment discharge and stockpiles of chemicals near waterways. One cultivation site was built over an existing stream resulting in a modified channel into a ditch with polluted water. Each violation alone can have a detrimental environmental impact but combined, are degrading entire watersheds at the expense of California’s diverse fish, wildlife and plant resources.
Twenty-six individuals were detained during the operation including two minors – a 16 year-old girl and 17 year-old boy. Criminal charges will be filed with the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. No further information is available at this time.
CDFW encourages the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or texting information to “TIP411” (847411).
The featured image is the Lake County marijuana grow raided by DFW and other agencies.