Calaveras Sheriff's Department Receives Prestigious Award for Pot Sting

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department is being honored for leading a six-month investigation of illegal marijuana farms that uncovered scores of illicit marijuana operations and significant environmental damage in the county. The Leadership in Environmental Crimes Award is being presented to Sheriff Rick DiBasilio and his department on behalf of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The award recognizes the achievements of law enforcement agencies in combatting serious environmental crimes.

“Due to the nature of our watershed systems in Calaveras County, the environmental damage beginning in our mountains and foothills has significant impacts down to the end of the line into other portions of California including the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area,” according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.

As part of the 2017 probe dubbed “Operation Terminus,” more than 25 tons of illegal marijuana plants were seized, over 35 suspects were arrested, and at least 11 firearms were recovered. Sheriff’s officials say they discovered serious environmental hazards and degradation during the process, with many of the crimes being committed by actors from out of state.

The operation was carried out in conjunction with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, California State Water Board, Central Valley Regional Water Board, Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire.

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