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459,000 marijuana plants removed, 100 arrested in huge crackdown

July 30, 2011 |  9:01 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef012876d02ef3970c-800wi

Federal authorities said they have made 100 arrests in a crackdown on marijuana cultivation in Mendocino National Forest.

At a press conference Friday, Melinda Haag, U.S. attorney for the northern district of California, said the forest is "under attack" by armed drug traffickers.

"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."

According to the U.S. attorney's office, officials spent the last few weeks removing 459,000 pot plants as well as 23 tons of trash and 22 miles of irrigation line.

Officials described Operation Full Court Press as one of the largest marijuana removal efforts in U.S. history.

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--Shelby Grad

Photo: A marijuana bud. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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