Around 350,000 plants and 20 tons of processed cannabis have been seized by a sheriff in California.
The bust was so massive, it took authorities four days to complete, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, which directed the Cannabis Compliance Team to conduct the seizure earlier this month.
Santa Barbara County, California, has the most marijuana cultivation licenses of any county in the state. It also just made a huge bust, with sheriff’s deputies seizing 20 tons of illegal cannabis and destroying 350,000 plants.
That should come as good news to licensed MJ businesses in the county who have seen their bottom lines suffer as illicit operators continued to do business illegally.
According to a news release, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team spent four days executing search warrants and seizing illegal product at a 60-acre grow near the town of Buellton.
Detectives believe the growers obtained fraudulent temporary and provisional cannabis licenses for cultivation on about 187 acres of land, with more than 60 acres being used for the cultivation of cannabis, according to a news release from the department.
It took four days to seize the cannabis and destroy about 350,000 plants, some of which were ready to harvest, the department said. Authorities executed four search warrants, including in the city of Santa Maria, in San Luis Obispo County and in the 1800 block of West Highway 246, outside Buellton.
The investigation was the result of complaints and tips from the public. The owner of the property hasn’t been located, the department aid.
It took a 35-person team composed of detectives, investigators and wildlife officers to complete the operation, according to officials.
The owner of the property had not been located or contacted as of Saturday, the sheriff’s office said.
No criminal charges have been filed, but the case is ongoing.