Joint Operation Seizes 101,000 Illegal Marijuana Plants in Antelope Valley

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced last week that it had seized 101,090 illegal marijuana plants and destroyed 14,980 pounds of harvested cannabis as part of a joint operation involving the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

LASD says it served a total of 116 cultivation-related search warrants at different properties in the Antelope Valley, where the scourge of illicit cannabis has wreaked havoc on the environment and communities. There were 107 arrests and 53 firearms seized.

The bust occurred nearly one year after the largest illegal marijuana operation in the county’s history. That operation was also located in the Antelope Valley and netted $1.9 billion of marijuana seizures.

“We’ve already identified the problems that this causes here in the Antelope Valley. Downstream, illegal cannabis dispensaries in the basin are a source of extreme amounts of violence. You have robberies, you have murders that we’re handling. Other agencies have to handle in the basin, and they’re all tied to the cash trade down in these illegal dispensaries. In fact, illegal dispensaries outnumber the legal one 50 to 1. That will give you the size of the magnitude of the problem that we’re handling right here,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

Tom Lackey, the Assemblymember for California’s 36th District, said the following:

“To any of those who are engaged in the illicit grows, I want you to know that there is a collective effort, and we’re coming after you. You can see, right here in these trailers, where your product is going to end up, and it’s not going to be on our streets. You’ve come after a very sacred thing: our community, you’ve come after our desert, and you’re stealing our water, you’re poisoning our land, and enough is enough!”