The latest Operation Hammer Strike update from sheriff’s officials revealed the recent eradication of hundreds of marijuana greenhouses in San Bernardino County.
The outdoor marijuana cultivations — many operated by suspects in the High Desert, Los Angeles County, and China — were shuttered during OHS Week 22, a seven-day period, which ended Sunday, the SBC Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
During that week, a total of 256 greenhouses were found and eradicated by investigators, who mitigated one electrical bypass and one THC extraction lab, according to sheriff’s officials.
Sheriff’s personnel also arrested 36 suspects, with investigators seizing 52,715 marijuana plants, more than 3,575 pounds of processed marijuana, more than $51,000 in cash, and 10 guns, a sheriff’s report said.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team, along with SBC deputies from several sheriff’s patrol stations, served 17 search warrants at various locations in Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Hinkley, Wonder Valley, Twentynine Palms, El Mirage, Walnut, West Covina, Alhambra, and Chino Hills.
The strike was launched after MET personnel received numerous complaints about large outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivations.
Suspects were cited or booked on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis, over six plants; possession for sales of marijuana, illegal water discharge, manufacturing a controlled substance, utility theft, and conspiracy.
The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California’s Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and SBC’s ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis activity, including growing marijuana plants outdoors.
The sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce the state’s cannabis laws and the 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, sheriff’s officials said.
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.y
Property owners are encouraged to contact local law enforcement or code compliance agencies to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations.