One of six clandestine pot-growing sites spotted in the eastern Tulare County mountains by helicopter overflights was eradicated near Three Rivers on July 9 and 10. That site was identified by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department public information officer as located on east Case Mountain on Bureau of Land Management property.
The raid was carried out by detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department STEP (Sheriff’s Tactical Enforcement Personnel) unit and agents from the U.S. Forest Service and CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting). The multi-agency task force was dropped in by helicopter and eradicated a total of 7,146 marijuana plants.
No suspects were arrested during the local operations. The Sheriff’s Department reports that if the mature plants were harvested, the street value would have netted an estimated $7 million.
During a five-day period from July 7 to 11, five other sites were also eradicated: four on Sequoia National Forest lands and another on the Tule Indian Reservation near Porterville. In addition to removing more than 46,000 marijuana plants, nearly four tons of trash and environmental waste were also hauled off the sites.