Police seized thousands of marijuana plants, nine pounds of processed cannabis and dozens of firearms during a search of an illegal cultivation operation in the Morgan Hill area, according to authorities.
On May 9, officers from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Division served a search warrant in the unincorporated foothills east of Morgan Hill. With the assistance of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, detectives were searching for evidence of a suspected illegal marijuana farm, says a May 11 post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.
The officers eradicated about 2,000 marijuana plants in addition to the processed cannabis during the search, authorities said.
They also found that those responsible for the cultivation operation were heavily armed and “extremely protective” of the illegal garden as detectives confiscated a cache of 33 firearms, according to authorities. Most of the weapons were assault rifles. Thousands of rounds of ammunition were also seized.
Furthermore, authorities are investigating numerous environmental violations, including evidence of dumping diesel fuel into the water supply, says the social media post.
No arrests have been and the investigation is ongoing.
“This was a prolific operation as a fully grown plant is capable of producing about a pound of processed marijuana with each pound being sold on the street at approximately $1,000-$1,500 per pound,” says the sheriff’s office post. “Greenhouse grows such as this are capable of producing three or more grow cycles per year, which puts profits at conservatively $6 million or more a year.”
Although recreational marijuana use and possession are legal for adults in California, some growers and dealers continue to produce and sell on the black market to avoid paying taxes and to maximize profits, police said.
Anyone with information about this case can contact the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detectives’ tip line at 408.808.4420 or online at countysheriff.sccgov.org/leave-crime-tip.