56 greenhouses were eradicated and 33 suspects were arrested on the 17th week of Operation Hammer Strike.
Between December 20, 2021, and December 26, 2021, investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), along with San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies from several different Patrol Stations, served 22 search warrants at various locations in Lucerne Valley, Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, Landers, Johnson Valley, Rancho Cucamonga, Newberry Springs, Running Springs, Colton, Hesperia, Victorville, Phelan, and El Mirage. MET personnel had received numerous complaints about large outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivations in these areas. Over this past week, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s personnel located and arrested 33 suspects. Investigators seized 14,113 marijuana plants, 4116.8 pounds of processed marijuana, eight guns, 9,550 grams (21 pounds) of concentrated marijuana, and over $352,000.00 in cash. Investigators eradicated a total of 56 greenhouses found at these locations and five indoor grow locations. Investigators mitigated one electrical bypass, one marijuana delivery service, and one THC extraction lab.
The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California’s Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and San Bernardino County’s ordinance prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity. San Bernardino County has a law prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity, including growing marijuana plants outdoors.
The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California’s cannabis laws and San Bernardino County’s ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution. Persons found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property.
Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties in violation of the state law and local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions. Property owners are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or code compliance agency to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations.
The suspects were cited or booked on charges of Cultivation of Cannabis, over six plants, Possession for Sales of Marijuana, Illegal Water Discharge, Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, Attempted Murder, and Conspiracy.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Shannon D. Dicus on City News Group
Published: January 04, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News