RAW: Raid near Lone Pine takes in $10 million worth of marijuana plants

On Tuesday, September 11, agents from the Inyo Narcotic Enforcement Team, with assistance from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, conducted a marijuana eradication operation in the Inyo National Forest.

The marijuana cultivation site was located on U.S. Forest Service land outside of Lone Pine. The site appeared to have been abandoned by the cultivators days prior to the operation. Agents eradicated approximately 4,000 marijuana plants with a potential street value of $10 million dollars. Agents also removed large loads of garbage and rubber hose left behind by the cultivators. A CHP helicopter assisted the eradication team in extracting the marijuana plants and garbage.

Here are some of the clues that you may have come across a marijuana cultivation site:
• The smell of marijuana is like skunk, especially on hot days.
• Hoses or drip lines located in unexpected places.
• A well-used trail, where there shouldn’t be one.
• Voices coming from unusual places.
• People standing along roads without vehicles present, or in areas where loitering appears unusual.
• Usually plantations are found in isolated locations; in rough steep terrains.
• Camps containing cooking and sleeping areas with food.
• Small propane bottles (so the grower can avoid detection of wood smoke).
• Fertilizer, weapons, garbage, dead animals.
• Individuals armed with rifles out of hunting season.

As soon as you become aware that you have entered a cultivation site, immediately reduce the threat by removing yourself from the area. Walk, crawl, or run out the way you came in and make as little noise as possible. The growers may not know that you found their operation, or they might not be present.

As soon as possible contact your local law enforcement officer.