Sheriff’s officials announced in an email newsletter Saturday morning that “well over $600 million worth of marijuana” was seized in a multi-agency raid of illegal grow operations in Los Angeles County’s high desert on Tuesday.
“It’s going up every day,” an undercover sergeant with the sheriff’s marijuana-eradication team said of the seized marijuana’s “street value” in an interview with The Signal.
The three-day dollar figure, which the sergeant said is “in excess of” $600 million, was calculated based on a plant count and the amount of seized marijuana that’s been harvested and processed.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a news conference in Lancaster last week to announce the bust, which involved at least one operation that bulldozed 74 greenhouses over 10 acres of land.
Villanueva announced 23 arrests and the seizure of five firearms at Tuesday’s media event. The drug cartel-linked operations have grown from 150 grows to 500 over the past year, which has resulted in water theft and environmental damage, he said.
“This is a threat on so many different levels. It cannot go unaddressed and unanswered,” Villanueva said Tuesday.