Law enforcement agents arrest two, eradicate marijuana grow
Wednesday, Aug. 7 — A tip from a local rancher and a multi-agency investigation led to the arrest of two Mexican Nationals and the eradication of more than 12,000 marijuana plants in the Horse Lake area.
According to a press release from the Lassen County Narcotics Task Force, a local ranch owner reported his employees were pushing cattle near Pete’s Creek and Snow Storm Mountain in the Northeastern area of the county when they discovered a large number of marijuana plants. After seeing the plants, the employees left the area and reported it.
A joint effort between the Task Force and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife led to an investigation into the site, estimated to be up to a mile in length and bordering the creek bed.
Due to the large scale of the grow, the North State Marijuana Team, out of Redding, was called in to assist in the investigation and eradication of the grow. The team is comprised of multiple law enforcement agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Department of Justice, the California National Guard, Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service and the Siskiyou and Trinity County Sheriff’s offices.
The press release said in the early morning of Wednesday, Aug. 7, members of the Lassen County Narcotics Task Force, multiple personnel from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, north state task force agents, California Fish and Wildlife wardens, wildlife K-9 teams along with a member of the Susanville Police Department and the California Highway Patrol converged on the area from multiple directions.
After entering the grow area, members of the teams discovered many marijuana plants and two individuals living within the site and maintaining the marijuana.
The two were identified as Antonio Perez, 35, and Jose Brrijos, 22, both of Iona, Calif. They were taken into custody without incident at the scene. They will be transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshalls for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s office for marijuana cultivation of more than 10,000 plants.
The press release said a good quality marijuana plant typically yields about a half-pound of processed product. Based on the number of plants, the eventual street value of this grow is well in excess of $9 million.
In addition to the marijuana plants, irrigation and living supplies, along with chemicals found to be illegal in the United States for any purpose, were also seized.
The resources and manpower dedicated to this operation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the north state task force played an integral role in the operation.
The effort and manpower put forth by both agencies and all other agencies that participated is appreciated, according to the press release.
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