The following is a press release issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:
During the week of Aug. 21, wildlife officers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) led a Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) operation in Covelo and the surrounding areas in Mendocino County. The operation was based on suspected illegal cannabis cultivation and associated environmental crimes.
Supporting agencies and staff included: Department of Cannabis Control, Regional Waterboard, Waterboard Division of Water Rights, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Toxic Substances Control and CDFW environmental scientists.
Prior to serving the search warrants, a records check was conducted on the properties to determine what steps may have been taken to secure a county permit and state license. In this case, no county permits or state licenses to cultivate or manufacture commercial cannabis had been issued.
The operation targeted 29 properties, where officers located and eradicated over 41,000 cannabis plants, destroyed over 7,000 pounds of processed cannabis and seized 40 firearms. The estimated retail value of the illegal cannabis is $45,375,000.
Officers also detained 15 suspects and encountered several sites with suspected unregistered or unknown pesticides. Over 120 Fish and Game Code violations were documented, along with 34 Water Code violations.
These are ongoing investigations and no other information is available at this time.
Created in 2022, UCETF has been charged by Governor Newsom to increase cannabis enforcement coordination between state, local and federal partners. The Taskforce is co-chaired by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and coordinated by the Homeland Security Division of Cal OES. The taskforce includes more than two dozen local, state
, and federal partners working together to disrupt the illegal cannabis supply chain.