Authorities held onto a huge number of dollars worth of illegal marijuana grown in the high desert Tuesday as part of an effort to curtail the bootleg market’s grip on Southern California.
23 people were arrested in the crackdown Tuesday in the Antelope Valley, 70 miles north of Los Angeles, and officials intended to destroy 500 illegal grows in the area over the coming days.
Supposed recreational marijuana got lawful in California in 2018, however the underground market keeps on flourishing.
The huge bust was partly in response to residents’ grievances of water being taken, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during a news conference in Lancaster. The largest grow discovered Tuesday had more than 70 greenhouses over 10 acres, with an expected marijuana crop worth $50 million.
Villanueva didn’t have a prompt tally of the measure of marijuana held onto Tuesday, yet he said officials were measuring it by the tons. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said Tuesday’s operation had found $380 million worth of infrastructure and marijuana in the area.
Undefined cartels operating the illegal marijuana grows were taking huge number of gallons of water, the sheriff said. Armed cartel members were taking from wells kept up by horse feed, potato and carrot farmers in the evening, just as breaking fire hydrants and operating their own illegal wells.
Villanueva said the illegal grows breed savagery, refering to several murders related to the Antelope Valley’s bootleg market. In April, a robbery at a development site resulted in a shootout.
The sheriff didn’t quickly have information regarding the charges anybody arrested would confront. Be that as it may, he said they would almost certainly be a blend of state misdemeanors and crime offenses, with the chance of federal cases. Five firearms were seized.