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Ventura County eradicates largest pot plantation in its history

July 14, 2011 |  9:16 pm

Ventura County authorities this week eradicated the largest plantation of marijuana in the history of the county, pulling up more than 68,000 plants in Los Padres National Forest, north of the city of Ojai, authorities said Thursday.

Narcotics detectives with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department found the pot plantation in June. On Wednesday, a task force of officers was airlifted into the several plots in the plantation, according to a department report. They discovered campsites used by growers that included tents, stoves, sleeping bags, two guns and ammunition, and a lot of trash.

Large sections of land had been cleared for planting. In addition, water reservoirs had been found dug into the terrain, with water diverted from natural springs. Thousands of feet of irrigation hose snaked throughout the area, providing water to plants.

No one was arrested. However, in the last several years, Mexican nationals, particularly from the state of Michoacan, have increasingly used public forest lands in California as places to grow marijuana without having to bring it over the U.S.-Mexico border, according to Times interviews with law enforcement and Mexican pot growers.

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-- Sam Quinones

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