This following is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
In June 2021, the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) was contacted by officers from the Mendocino County Code Enforcement Division, who reported an non-permitted commercial size marijuana cultivation operation that spanned over several acres/parcels in Covelo, California.
After speaking with Code Enforcement, COMMET and the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF) began investigating the properties in question.
During the investigation, aerial overflights of the suspected properties were conducted.
The overflights confirmed the properties were cultivating marijuana in excess of state law. During the investigation, over one hundred (100) plastic style hoop houses cultivating marijuana were observed, that spanned over several parcels.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officials learned these particular properties were denied cannabis growing permits/licenses by the County of Mendocino and the State of California.
Due to the overwhelming amount of marijuana and the overall size of this illegal operation, COMMET and MMCTF requested outside assistance for a multi-agency search warrant service.
On 07-29-2021, approximately fifty (50) law enforcement officials, as well as civilian employees from these respective agencies, all participated in some aspect of the search warrant service on the suspected properties located in the area of the 24000 block of Biggar Lane in Covelo, California.
During the course of this investigation, several people were located and detained at the properties and subsequently interviewed regarding their involvement with the operation. A primary suspect was identified, however was not at the location during the service of the search warrant.
In total, the aforementioned properties were found to have a total of 104 plastic style hoops houses, which were all being used for the purposes of marijuana cultivation.
A total of 14,495 illegally cultivated marijuana plants were located and eradicated. In addition to the marijuana plants, a total of 7,590 pounds of processed bud marijuana was also located and destroyed.
At the conclusion of this investigation, a criminal complaint will be forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal prosecution.
Mendocino County Code Enforcement, who conducted a parallel investigation, will also be pursuing legal action with fines in excess of three (3) million dollars for observed violations.
On 07-29-2021, the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) observed additional marijuana being cultivated in the 24000 block of Biggar Lane, on two parcels owned by the Round Valley Tribe.
It should be noted, illegally cultivated marijuana was located on these same two properties on 06-07-2021, where several thousand marijuana plants were eradicated by COMMET.
According to tribal members, this marijuana growing operation was being conducted by individual(s) trespassing who did not have permission to occupy the land.
After the discovery of this recent trespass growing operation, the Round Valley Tribal Police requested the assistance of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in eradicating the marijuana.
A total of 5,511 marijuana plants were destroyed as a result.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize and thank the following participating agencies who assisted in the successful operations conducted on 07-29-2021.
County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team, Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division, Mendocino County Code Enforcement, Department of Cannabis Control, Mendocino County Probation Department, California Department of Fish and Wild Life Wardens & Environmental Staff, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I), Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A), United States Air National Guard, Homeland Security Investigations (H.S.I), Willits Police Department and Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (C.A.M.P.).