101 Greenhouses Eradicated in Operation Hammer Strike by Shannon D. Dicus

By Shannon D. Dicus

Sheriff-Coroner

2021-09-29 at 10:02:53

Between September 20, 2021, and September 24, 2021, investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served 24 search warrants at various locations in Lucerne Valley, Wonder Valley, Apple Valley,  Pinon Hills, Phelan, and Newberry Springs.  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 33 suspects.  Investigators seized 16,180 marijuana plants, 5,905 pounds of processed marijuana, seven guns, and $41,000.00 in cash.  Investigators eradicated a total of 101 greenhouses found at these locations.  One of the seized handguns had the serial number ground off.  Investigators mitigated one electrical bypass.

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, and Possession for Sales of Marijuana.

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 you may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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