Raids in Southern California net 73 arrests, 156,000 cannabis plants

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Southern California officials conducted a wide-ranging, multiweek crackdown in desert communities between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, resulting in 73 arrests and raids at 53 locations.

According to the Victor Valley News Group, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office ran point on the raids – dubbed “Operation Hammer Strike” – in the latest attempt by law enforcement to get a handle on the thriving illicit cannabis trade in the state.

The raids – which took place between Feb. 28 and March 13 – also netted more than 156,000 illegal marijuana plants, nearly 5,000 pounds of processed cannabis, 22 guns, more than 450 grams of MJ concentrates and $98,000-plus in cash.

Sheriff’s deputies said they discovered and eradicated 379 greenhouses, 30 indoor cultivation operations and two extraction labs at the locations raided.

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The 73 suspects were booked or cited on charges such as:

  • Cultivation of more than six cannabis plants.
  • Possession for illegal sales of marijuana.
  • Illegal water discharge.
  • Manufacturing a controlled substance.
  • Utility theft.
  • Conspiracy.