Authorities Seize Largest Bust Of Illegal Weed In Los Angeles’ History
Authorities have seized more than $1 billion of marijuana in California, with Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva warned cartels that ‘your days are over and we’re coming for you’.
Recreational cannabis became legal in the state of California back in 2016, but police are still trying to stamp out illegal supplies.
Authorities have just confiscated 33,000 pounds of harvested marijuana and made 131 arrests in a record-breaking bust. The operation, which was the largest illegal weed bust in Los Angeles County history, required the involvement of several governing bodies.
The plan to disrupt the illegal project was entitled the ‘Marijuana Eradication Operation’, and began on June 8. The operation spanned 10 days and resulted in the confiscation of $1.193 billion of marijuana, although it also had a focus on water theft.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a prominent problem in the illegal Antelope Valley market is water theft, In fact, the use of non-permitted water wells and hydrants has seen water theft reach an ‘alarming rate’.
Complex reported that while speaking about water theft on Wednesday, Curt Fallin, DEA Associate Special Agent in Charge, said:
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.
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
This amount of stolen water may have serious repercussions as the state struggles with heatwaves. The state has seen the weather remain at 100-110°F (37-43°C) for long periods. This has impacted the water reserves residents have access to, as well as electricity.
On top of the need for water across the state, the report on the operation noted the violence that is associated with criminal activity.
Speaking about the importance of the operation, Mayor of Lancaster R. Rex Parris noted:
This was an amazing operation, and it required incredible courage. We are talking about the cartels. We are not talking about Mom and Pop – people selling marijuana they grew in their backyard. This is the cartels.
We are very, very close to driving down the freeway and seeing bodies hanging from the overpasses. That is what’s coming.
The mayor went on to encourage further investigations that will make the city of Lancaster a better place to live.
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