A massive raid on a large California marijuana farm resulted in dozens of arrests and the destruction of 15 acres worth of weed.
Officers from several local, state, and federal police agencies swept down on the Bay Area farm in mid-August, apparently surprising more than three dozen men who were raising the marijuana. The men tried to run from a small tent city, but all were caught.
Officers said the raid netted millions of dollars worth of pot, all of which will be kept as evidence or destroyed. They didn’t immediately give a dollar estimate for the haul, though they said the farm was obviously a commercial operation.
Disguised by corn rows
The cannabis plants were carefully hidden on the property, planted between rows of corn. This crop typically grows high enough to conceal the average marijuana plant.
The farm was raided as part of an ongoing investigation. The land is located east of San Juan Bautista, in unincorporated San Benito County, itself part of the San Francisco Bay Area.
San Benito County Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Taylor told reporters a large group of men scattered from the site when they saw officers coming. But the men were rounded up with the help of a police helicopter, Taylor said.
40 arrests made
A total of 40 people were arrested, all of them allegedly farm workers. A SWAT team remained at the site to search for anyone who might still be hiding there.
Several agencies participated in the bust: the San Benito County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, the DEA, the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms, the Mountain View Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the San Benito County Probation office, and that county’s Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team.
All this manpower was spent to round up a drug that will probably be legal soon. The raid will make literally no difference in the war on drugs and will not make life safer for anyone.
California has seen its share of large cannabis raids. In May, police in Fresno County busted a farm valued at $27 million. The next month, a farm with 11,000 plants was raided, also in Fresno County, widely considered the most anti-marijuana county in the state.