The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to crack down on outdoor marijuana cultivations, eradicating 101 greenhouses at 24 locations in the county during the fourth week of Operation Hammer Strike, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
During the week of Sept. 20-24, investigators from the Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served search warrants at various locations in Lucerne Valley, Wonder Valley, Apple Valley, Pinon Hills, Phelan, and Newberry Springs. MET personnel had received numerous complaints about large outdoor marijuana cultivations in these areas.
Over the course of the week-long operation, Sheriff's personnel located and arrested 33 suspects. Investigators seized 16,180 marijuana plants, 5,905 pounds of processed marijuana, seven guns, and $41,000 in cash. One of the seized handguns had the serial number ground off. Investigators mitigated one electrical bypass.
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.
Persons found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property.
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 suspects were cited or booked on charges of cultivation of cannabis, over six plants, and possession for sales of marijuana.