Continuing its crackdown on illegal cannabis cultivations, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department seized 21,002 marijuana plants and arrested 41 suspects during the week of Sept. 6-10, authorities said.
Investigators from the Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), along with San Bernardino Sheriff's deputies from several different patrol stations, served 23 search warrants at various locations in Hesperia, Phelan, Twentynine Palms, Newberry Springs, and Lucerne Valley during the week-long operation. MET personnel had received numerous complaints about large outdoor marijuana cultivations in these areas.
Investigators seized 5,628.5 pounds of processed marijuana, nine guns, more than $9,000 in cash, 6.2 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms, 1.7 ounces of cocaine, a stolen motorcycle, three stolen RV trailers, and a stolen trailer-mounted generator. Investigators mitigated one electrical bypass and one THC extraction lab. They also eradicated a total of 113 greenhouses found at these locations.
The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California's Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and San Bernardino County's ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis activity, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release on Sept. 10.
The Sheriff's Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California's cannabis laws and San Bernardino County's ordinance. Persons found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property, the Sheriff’s Department said.
“Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties in violation of the state law and local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions. Property owners are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or code compliance agency to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
The suspects were cited or booked on charges of cultivation of cannabis; over six plants, possession of a dangerous drug, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a stolen vehicle, electrical theft, possession for sales of marijuana, and possession of a dangerous drug while armed.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff's Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909) 387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or leave the information at www.wetip.com.