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Law Enforcement Ties Cannabis Grows in Redwood Valley and Bell Springs to Drug Traffickers

A firearm discovered on a Mendocino County cannabis grow [Photograph from MCSO]

Cannabis enforcement efforts conducted this week in Mendocino County have eradicated 17,000 plants, confiscated a dozen guns, and discovered polluted waterways, reports Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall. He also told us all the sites were targeted by law enforcement due to their ties to drug trafficking organizations.

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall told us that yesterday, June 7, 2023, his deputies assisted California Fish and Wildlife in cannabis enforcement operations in the area of Bell Springs Road. 5,913 plants were eradicated from three different parcels. 

He said officers located evidence of environmental crimes including illegal water diversions and garbage polluting tributaries and streams.

?One male adult was detained and three were seen fleeing the cannabis grows on foot as law enforcement approached, according to Kendall.

We reached out to California Fish and Wild’s Janice Mackey for comment on their enforcement efforts but as of publication have yet to hear back.

On Monday, June 5, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Fish and Wildlife and California’s Department of Cannabis Control as they conducted enforcement action on three Redwood Valley cannabis grows off of West Road containing 38 hoop houses. 

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By the end of the day, deputies eradicated 12,030 plants and 279 pounds of processed cannabis. They also located twelve guns, detained four subjects, and documented numerous fish and wildlife violations.

None of those detained on these illegal grow sites during this week’s enforcement actions were placed under arrest and booked into the county jail because, according to Sheriff Kendall, all they faced were misdemeanors. 

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall told us all cannabis sites hit this week had indications they were the work of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). 

Sheriff Kendall said his cannabis enforcement efforts would target grows connected to DTOs,  where violence occurs, that violate environmental regulations, or trespass on private lands. 

Michael Katz, the Executive Director of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, said his organization has “consistently supported efforts to address egregious criminal and environmentally destructive activity in Mendocino, including advocating for additional resources for the Sheriff’s Department to effectively respond to the significant negative impacts these behaviors cause in our community.”

Katz agreed with MCSO’s cannabis enforcement approach saying, “dangers to health and human safety and the environment need to be the priority.”


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4 COMMENTS

  1. All misdemeanors so no jail time, I guess if the only penalty is losing the crop, illegal grow sites will not be diminished .

    • However, if guns are involved, it’s a whole different issue even if you aren’t holding them it’s so fucked up the whole system. These people should not be prosecuted at all big Flippin deal, but the DA is it going after everybody is bullshit.

  2. What wait there’s drug traffickers in Mendocino county??? No I can’t believe that. That would never happen in our county our sheriff wouldn’t let it happen. Either would the Governor! He’s against all this. I’m just in complete disbelief this is happening right here. Oh man what is a person to do now??
    Ok in all seriousness these people need to be put in prison and never let out. I’m so over all of this and people turning a blind eye to it. It absolutely disgusts me. And knowing they are drug traffickers no doubt they are human trafficking also. Wake up Mendocino county!

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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