Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Wednesday the results of the Marijuana Eradication Operation which began on the early hours of Tuesday, June 8, 2021, and lasted 10 days.
The collaborative operation took place in the Antelope Valley and several local, state and federal agencies were involved including: over 400 personnel from multiple Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department units, deputies from the Community Partnerships Bureau, Operation Safe Street and Special Victims Bureau detectives, Lancaster and Palmdale Station deputies, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, California National Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and members from the Kern County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County Sheriff’s Departments.
In 2020, Narcotics Bureau Detectives identified 150 illegal outdoor marijuana grows in the Antelope Valley. In 2021, investigators conducted reconnaissance flights and they identified over 500 illegal cannabis grows.
Violent crime has been linked directly to the grow sites. In July 2020, two murder victims were discovered adjacent to an illegal marijuana grow in the unincorporated area of Lancaster. In March 2021, a murder victim was found buried in the desert near Lake Los Angeles and the suspects wanted in connection with the murder operated an illegal marijuana grow in Lake Los Angeles. Threats by armed individuals against citizens living in close proximity to illegal marijuana grows have occurred on a regular basis and were increasing in frequency.
The threat to the environment and wildlife cannot begin to be calculated as growers consistently use banned pesticides and fertilizers for their illegal crops. Two dead bears were discovered and their death is attributed to pesticide use.
Water theft occurs at an alarming rate and it has threatened the water supply for residents in the eastern portion of the antelope valley. Theft occurs from fire hydrants and unpermitted water wells that were being drilled on the grow sites.
“Most Californians would be shocked and disappointed at the amount of water these unlicensed, illegal grows are using, especially as California suffers from a drought,” said Curt Fallin, DEA associate special agent in Charge . “By our calculation, the illegal grows in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties require an astounding 5.4 million gallons of water a day, every day.”
Thanks to public calls for service and multiple complaints from residents, the largest operation in the history of the Los Angeles county Sheriff’s Department was developed to put an end to the hundreds of illegal marijuana cultivations in the Antelope Valley.
As result of this operation, a total of 131 arrests were made; 65 vehicles, including two water trucks were seized; approximately $28,000 dollars in U.S currency were seized; a total of 33,480 pounds of harvested marijuana were seized; 30 locations were demolished, 33 firearms were sized; 180 animals were rescued; and there were19 water theft arrests. The total estimated street value of the plants destroyed is $1.193 billion dollars.
“What we want to do is send a clear and loud message to all the cartels and anyone doing illegal operations in the high desert, ‘your days here are over and we’re coming for you,’” said Sheriff Villanueva.
Anyone who sees activity that appears to be suspicious or criminal in nature should contact their local sheriff’s station, or remain anonymous and call “Crime Stoppers” at (800) 222-TIPS.
Mission Valley Bancorp announced Monday a net income of $1.6 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2021, compared to net income of $398 thousand, or $0.12 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2020.
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District will hold its Regular Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 4, beginning with a closed session at 6:00 p.m., followed immediately with open session at 7:00 p.m.
1935 - Newhall deputy Archie Carter sentenced to 1 year in jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after his wife fatally shot his 20-year-old mistress (the age of majority was 21). [story]
SACRAMENTO (CN) — California voters are anxious about the intensifying drought and dwindling water supply and nearly 80% believe climate change is fueling the fast start to the wildfire season, according to a statewide poll released Wednesday.
College of the Canyons has received a $74,707 Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide opportunities for underrepresented community college students to engage in undergraduate research focusing on native bees.
Local nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) held its fifth annual Back to School Bash, where students received backpacks and school supplies for the upcoming semester, and for the first time also featured a career fair featuring eleven speakers from the FYI community who explained their jobs and career qualifications.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health continues cautioning residents who are planning to visit several Los Angeles County beaches, including beaches near Hyperion, to be careful of swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.