New California task force eradicates $15 million of illegal marijuana

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A newly formed California task force eradicated 11,000-plus illegal marijuana plants and destroyed more 5,000 pounds of illegal processed flower worth an estimated street value eclipsing $15 million.

The seizures were led by the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce, which Gov. Gavin Newsom created in June to crack down on illicit marijuana operations throughout the state.

The Oct. 4 operation, which included the Department of Cannabis Control’s Law Enforcement Division and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), targeted unlicensed outdoor cultivation operations in a rural area of Jupiter in Northern California’s Tuolumne County.

Results of the multi-agency investigation included:

  • Nine search warrants.
  • Eradication of 11,260 illegal cannabis plants.
  • Destruction of 5,237 pounds of illegal processed flower.

“These illegal grows can be detrimental to our state’s fish and wildlife resources and their habitats,” CDFW Director Charlton Bonham said in a statement.

“Several environmental violations were documented on this operation including sediment that would impact Eagle Creek during the next rain and hazardous materials that can be lethal to local wildlife.”

In a separate action last week, California regulators eradicated nearly 1 million illegally cultivated cannabis plants and seized more than 200,000 pounds of illegally processed marijuana as part of the state justice department’s annual Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program.