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Over 200,000 plants removed from Seiad Valley grow operation

Seiad grow CMYKweb.jpg
By Courtesy Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office
Above, some of the plants found in the largest-ever marijuana plant seizure in Siskiyou County earlier this week.
Siskiyou Daily News
Seiad Valley - The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the largest-ever marijuana plant seizure in Siskiyou County history on Thursday.

According to a press release, the SCSO, along with multiple other agencies, eradicated approximately 204,993 marijuana plants from approximately 13 grow sites on National Forest lands near Seiad Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The release stated that the area where the plants were located is extremely steep, and teams had to be inserted by helicopter. Crews worked for two days to secure the gardens and remove the plants.

“This is the largest single seizure of marijuana plants in Siskiyou County history and is one of the largest in state history,” the release states.

Along with the agencies listed in the Thursday edition of the Siskiyou Daily News, Brim Aviation from Ashland, Ore. assisted with the raid.



Marijuana bust may be largest in county history

By David Smith, Siskiyou Daily News 8/20/09
Seiad Valley - What may be the largest marijuana complex ever found in Siskiyou County has been uncovered, according to Siskiyou County Sheriff Rick Riggins and Undersheriff Mike Murphy.

The grow operation, located in the Low Gap area near Seiad Valley, extends over a very large geographical area, Murphy said. He added that since Tuesday crews have been working all day to secure the area, take out plants, investigate the sites and clean up the camps.

Although an exact count has not yet been made, Murphy said that he approximated about 50,000 to 100,000 plants from the air. The largest garden found thus far in Siskiyou County had about 50,000 plants.

Asked how the counts are made, Murphy said that in most instances the eradication crew members count the plants they cut down as they go, and everyone’s final tally is added at the end of the day.

Murphy said that SWAT teams were still securing the area Wednesday, and none of the growers had been arrested at that time. He did say that he anticipated arrests being made through investigation of the site.

“We have to be extremely careful,” Murphy said, because the growers in hillside operations have been known to protect their gardens through force. He explained that that is much of the reason for taking the operation out now, due to the upcoming hunting season and the danger it could pose to hunters.

Murphy said that the agencies involved are the United States Forest Service, CALFire law enforcement, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and eradication teams, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and eradication teams, California Fish and Game, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement personnel from the Redding and Sacramento offices, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Klamath River Fire Department and California Highway Patrol provided a helicopter. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office also supplied the command post for the raid.

Murphy stated that Siskiyou and Jackson counties have a partnership agreement that allows each to assist the other with raids. He also said that the Fish and Game department sends personnel to assess the environmental impacts that the grow operation may have had, along with other assistance.

“We appreciate the support from all the agencies,” Murphy said.
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