Marijuana Raid in Ramirez Canyon Nets 4000 Plants Worth $6 Million
• Officials Say 20-Week Old Plants at Grow Sites on Public Parkland Were Close to Harvest
BY ANNE SOBLE
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Narcotics Bureau, the National Park Service, and California State Parks and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority rangers were part of the multi-agency task force that took out a marijuana operation in Ramirez Canyon last Friday,
Lt. M. Thatcher—who prefers to go by his first initial—of the LASD Narcotics Bureau told the Malibu Surfside News that the raid on illegally used public parkland netted about 4000 plants, which Thatcher said have an estimated street value of $6 million.
Thatcher said that no suspects were at the scene when the early morning assault occurred. He said there was a lot of camping gear at the three sites, as well as an extensive irrigation system, in addition to evidence of pesticide use.
The chemicals do serious damage to the local environment and costly cleanup is required to return marijuana sites to normal.
The agencies that compose the Marijuana Enforcement Team, or MET, expect to be busy between now and the end of October, which is the typical cannabis harvesting season in the Santa Monica Mountains.
In other drug-related news, the use of pangas to transport suspected undocumenteds to the Malibu area has now been confirmed to carry marijuana after it was found with the boat that washed up near Deer Creek on Thursday.
Authorities are concerned that passengers may be covering part or all of their transportation costs by acting as drug couriers, or they are being coerced into carrying contraband for relay to waiting transit that often takes off before the panga passengers have finished disembarking.