Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies seized almost $35 million of marijuana last week after serving search warrants on three illegal grow sites in the Charleston View area of Inyo County, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department.
The department reported Tuesday that on March10, the Inyo County Agricultural Office was notified of a large illegal marijuana cultivation operation in the Charleston View area of Inyo County. The operation had no county or state permits to cultivate marijuana.
Inyo County sheriff’s personnel conducted surveillance at the locations and determined there were three active illegal marijuana cultivations operating in the area.
Investigators obtained search warrants and on May 27 the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), California Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Inyo County Agricultural Commission and personnel from the Cal Cannabis and Habitat Conservation Unit served the warrants at each of the locations.
During the service of the search warrants, 15 cultivators were detained, identified, interviewed and released at the scene. Additionally five handguns and one rifle were seized. Approximately 17,450 plants were eradicated from 31 grow structures from the three separate sites. The estimated street value of the seized marijuana was $34,900,000.00.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office will be requesting that charges be filed with the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office.