Authorities in Southern California have seized about 75,000 marijuana plants and arrested 11 suspects during an investigation into illegal grows in Los Padres National Forest.
The Ventura County Star reported that the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday that the quantities represent a “significant increase” compared to previous eradication efforts.
The agency conducted 18 investigations between May and October in and around national forest land that netted 74,600 marijuana plants, 1,500 pounds of harvested marijuana, and 84 firearms at multiple sites.
Authorities say the operations often leave trash behind and use pesticides.
Growers also remove natural vegetation, causing erosion and diverting and contaminating streams.