Law enforcement authorities cleared numerous illegal marijuana grow locations in the Antelope Valley Tuesday in what the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deemed “the largest operation ever to take place in the history of LASD.”
By late morning, the sheriff’s department reported that authorities have made “several arrests” and expected to recover “several thousand pounds of illegally grown marijuana by the end of today.”
Sheriff’s officials said the multi-agency operation was designed “to take down illegal cartel operated marijuana groves impacting farmers, families, and businesses.” Also involved in the operation were the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Army and sheriff’s officials from Ventura and Kern counties.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva planned a noon news conference to reveal details of the operation, along with representatives of the other participating agencies. Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita; Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, and a representative of Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office are also expected.
During the operation, Villanueva told Fox11, which accompanied authorities during the raids, that operators of the marijuana farms had gunmen who threatened local residents, and the illegal grows diverted water away from legitimate local farmers. According to the station, the operation targeted more than 70 individual greenhouses, and crews brought in bulldozers provided by the city of Lancaster to flatten the marijuana farms.
As many as 500 deputies were involved in the operation, the station reported.
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