Officials destroy more than 9,000 pot plants east of Truckee | SierraSun.com

Officials destroy more than 9,000 pot plants east of Truckee

Liz Kellarlkellar@theunion.com

FLORISTON, Calif. andamp;#8212; Last week, regional law enforcement officials destroyed more than 9,000 marijuana plants growing east of Truckee that were believed to be controlled by Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.Members of the Nevada County Sheriffandamp;#8217;s Narcotics Task Force, with help from U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Fish andamp; Game, California National Guard, California Highway Patrol, Sierra County Sheriffandamp;#8217;s Office and Grass Valley Police Department, eradicated 9,018 plants from grows located in a section of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest near Floriston last Thursday, Aug. 23, said Nevada County Sheriffandamp;#8217;s Sgt. Guy Selleck.The following day, officials destroyed 4,021 plants from a grow about 12 miles north from the town of Washington, located northeast of Nevada City, in the Tahoe National Forest.Both illegal grows were discovered during aerial surveillance and are believed to be drug cartel grow operations. Deputies did not locate anyone at either of the operations, although Selleck noted there was evidence people had been living there.andamp;#8220;The investigation is continuing,andamp;#8221; he said.The eradication efforts come at the same time as a federal multi-state operation targeting large-scale, illegal marijuana grows on public lands. andamp;#8220;Operation Mountain Sweepandamp;#8221; involves public lands in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Lauren Horwood. In the course of the sweep to date, federal, state and local law enforcement in the seven states have eradicated more than 578,000 marijuana plants from public lands with an estimated value of more than $1 billion. In California, Operation Mountain Sweep has eradicated more than 96 marijuana grow sites on public lands since the operation began on July 1, seizing at least 484,000 plants.