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 Enforcement Task Force, 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 H. 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.