DEA pledge "hot and heavy" season of California pot busts

Posted on August 26th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaThe feds are promising an especially aggressive crackdown on Emerald Triangle cannabis growers this harvest season. "It's one of the most beautiful parts of this country, but it's just being destroyed by marijuana cultivation," said Randy Wagner, the DEA special agent in charge of Northern California operations. "I can tell you, we're going to be hot and heavy in Humboldt County from here on out." An Aug. 26 report n the Eureka Times-Standard says the feds are frustrated with the ongoing dispute over medical marijuana in California and determined to pick up the slack following harsh budget cuts at the state's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. The report suggests local enforcement is ready to cooperate directly with the DEA, even with reduced state involvement.

Two events late last summer are cited as having "pushed things over the tipping point." Late last August, Fort Bragg councilman Jere Melo was shot and killed by a mentally ill man at the scene of an opium poppy grow on timber land in Mendocino County. The shooting—and subsequent month-long manhunt for Melo's killer—drew new attention to what officials portray as increasing lawlessness on park and timber lands throughout the region. In the wake of Melo's death, the League of California Cities Redwood Division pledged to make cracking down on illegal grow operations a major focus this year, according to Division Director and Arcata councilman Mark Wheetley.

Just days after Melo was killed, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey and Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos did some flyovers of the southern part of the county near the Mendocino border. "We just saw large commercial grow after large commercial grow," Downey said, adding that the scope of the marijuana production is staggering. "When I saw that and realized that the state of California is broke, I realized we have to do something."

Graphic by Global Ganja Report 




Anonymous's picture What does a mentally ill man and an opium poppy field have to do with marijuana? Why aren't they looking for more mentally people growing opium poppy fields? Seems like any excuse to go after cannabis providers is acceptable for these guys. Come on please use your resources to go after those who really mean to do harm!
Comment by Anonymous on Sep 2nd, 2012 at 3:03 pm

DEA cannabis seizures down

Global Ganja Report's picture

Total seizures of cultivated cannabis plants fell an estimated 35% between the years 2010 and 2011, according to statistics provided by the DEA and published in the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. Data for the year 2011 indicates that some 6.7 million cannabis plants were eradicated nationwideunder the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, which is active in all 50 states. This figure represents the lowest total of cultivated plants eradicated since 2006, and is a 35 percent decrease from 2010, when the DEA reported eradicating some 10.3 million marijuana plants.

The year-to-year drop was largely a result of a decline in the total number of plants eradicated in California. In 2010, the DEA reported eradicating some 7.4 million plants in California. That number fell to just under 4 million plants in 2011. Overall, approximately 60% of all of the marijuana plants eradicated in the United States in 2011 were from California plots.

The DEA further reported having seized over $11 million in assets associated with its eradication efforts in California. Nationwide, the agency reported seizing over $42 million in assets associated with its Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program. 

According to a July 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (PDF), the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture fund under President Barack Obama is the largest on record, having grown from $500 million in 2003, to $1.8 billion in 2011. According to the GAO, the fund paid out approximately $79 million to California law enforcement agencies, the most in the nation, for their participation in federal raids and seizures.


Comment by Global Ganja Report on Sep 2nd, 2012 at 4:56 pm

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