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Operation Full Court Press: marijuana farms busted in Medocino National Forest

On Friday, federal officials announced the arrests of 101 people in Operation Full Court Press, with destroyed more than 460,000 marijuana plants at 56 growing sites across six counties in Northern California, an area known as the Emerald Triangle for its large number of pot farms. The officials also seized 3/4 ton of processed marijuana, 27 firearms (or 32, depending upon account), and 11 vehicles. At the Friday press conference (video) Melinda Haag, U.S. attorney for California’s northern district said that the Mendocino National Forest is “under attack” by armed drug traffickers. She said that the Mendocino National Forest is roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island. The six counties involved are Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Tehama, and Trinity counties. Haag stated that:

“People don’t go hiking in the summer” for fear of coming across the marijuana cultivators, she said. “I tell people be careful when they go hiking. This is an intolerable situation and it has to be stopped.”

“There are those who believe that growing marijuana is a harmless, peaceful activity in harmony with nature,” Haag said. “This notion is, in a word, wrong.”

The California National Guard, the United States Forest Service, and dedicated volunteers from the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew have removed 46,000 pounds of trash, 13 man-made dams, 120 propane tanks, 116,000 feet (about 22 miles) of irrigation pipe, 2 tons of fertilizer, and 57 pounds of pesticides. A video of TV coverage of the removal of marijuana by helicopter is here.

The raids grew out of a Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting in Covelo, where several residents reported that they had been FIRED UPON in the forest in the past year, according to Associated Press. The raid involved more than 300 officials from 25 local and federal agencies.

Please be very careful when visiting forests in California during the summertime.

-Bill at

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