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Registered: 07/25/04
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63,556 marijuana plants seized
    #3330101 - 11/07/04 10:47 AM (19 years, 3 months ago)

CAMP seizes 63,556 marijuana plants in county

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Mendocino County was fifth among 30 counties where the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting had record seizures.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer said Friday CAMP had seized 621,315 plants statewide, more than 155,000 more plants that last year's record season with an estimated value of nearly $2.5 billion.

This year in Mendocino County, CAMP seized 63,556 plants.

The county with the most plants seized was Riverside, where law enforcement authorities got 97,104 illegal marijuana plants.

Fresno County was second with 69,364 seized plants.

Lake County was third with 64,198 plants taken.

Some 58 percent of all the plants seized were found on public lands, and authorities say 80 percent of all plants found were being grown by Mexican national drug organizations.

During the CAMP season this year, there were 41 arrests and 53 weapons seized.

CAMP this year conducted 181 raids in 30 counties during the traditional growing season, which runs from late July through early October.

"Each year we will continue our aggressive efforts to exterminate these illegal operations and actively pursue any leads we have from this program to prosecute individuals and groups that have foolishly decided to use California land to further their destructive activities," Lockyer said. "The environmental impacts continue to destroy, poison and alter California land."

The addition of a fourth team was added in 2004, and CAMP agents worked four regions for months to find and destroy illegal marijuana gardens in state and national parks and national forests as well as ranches, vineyards and timberlands.

Some 500,000 seized plants were attributed to Mexican drug organizations, which authorities say are also often distributors of methamphetamine.

In 2003, there were six fatalities and four non-lethal officer involved shootings at marijuana gardens. This season there were two officer involved shootings and no fatalities. Lockyer attributed the decrease in part to specialized training given to CAMP agents and officers, which includes techniques for confronting suspects at marijuana gardens.

Headed by the California Department of Justice, the multi-agency program also includes the California National Guard, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Central Valley High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force and dozens of local and county law enforcement agencies.

"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power." - P. J. O'Rourke

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