Sheriff’s officials arrested 41 suspects and seized 21,002 pot plants in the second week of Operation Hammer Strike, a campaign to stop the proliferation of illegal pot operations in the High Desert.
Investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department - Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), along with San Bernardino Sheriff's deputies from several different patrol stations, served 23 search warrants at various locations in Hesperia, Phelan, Twentynine Palms, Newberry Springs and Lucerne Valley last week.
MET personnel had received numerous complaints about large outdoor marijuana cultivations in these areas.
Over this past week, San Bernardino County sheriff's personnel located and arrested 41 suspects. Investigators seized 21,002 marijuana plants, 5,628.5 pounds of processed marijuana, nine guns, more than $9,000 in cash, 6.2 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms, 1.7 ounces of cocaine, a stolen motorcycle, three stolen RV trailers, and a stolen trailer-mounted generator.
Investigators mitigated one electrical bypass and one THC extraction lab. Investigators eradicated a total of 113 greenhouses found at these locations.
The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California's Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and San Bernardino County's ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis activity. San Bernardino County has a law prohibiting commercial cannabis activity, which includes growing marijuana plants outdoors.
The Sheriff's Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California's cannabis laws and San Bernardino County's ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution. Persons found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property.
Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties in violation of the state law and local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions. Property owners are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or code compliance agency to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations.
The suspects were cited or booked on charges of Cultivation of Cannabis; over six plants, Possession of a Dangerous Drug, Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Electrical Theft, Possession for Sales of Marijuana, and Possession of a Dangerous Drug While Armed.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff's Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com