Major Marijuana Plantation Found, Destroyed In Los Padres National Forest
On Friday, Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Detectives eradicated a major marijuana plantation in the Ozena area of the Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai. The growing marijuana was discovered during an over flight with the Sheriff’s Air Unit.
The two plots, containing a total of 22,478 marijuana plants, were less than a half mile apart and situated far from any roads. Multiple campsites were discovered, one with an elaborate kitchen containing a large propane stove, multi-drawer cabinets, and several hundred pounds of food. Cooking surfaces were made of dimensioned lumber and appear to have been made from destroyed picnic benches.
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It took investigators approximately five hours to eradicate the two sites. Plants were in various stages of growth, up to about two feet tall. All were being watered by thousands of feet of irrigation hose coming from grower created reservoirs.
Large sections of natural occurring vegetation had been cleared away to provide space and sun light for the marijuana plants. An estimated 13 acres of public land was affected by this operation, not to mention the unknown effects of the numerous fertilizers and pesticides used in the area.
The marijuana operation had the potential to produce in excess of 11 tons of marijuana, with an estimated street value of $88 million. At this time, no arrests have been made. The investigation is continuing.