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Santa Clara Authorities Make $16 Million Pot Bust

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday the discovery of a marijuana garden that contained $16 million worth of plants and led to the arrest of two San Jose residents for allegedly tending the garden.

The find was the first this year by the county's marijuana eradication operations unit.

The garden was located Wednesday at approximately 12 p.m. near the Calaveras Reservoir by members of the sheriff's special operations unit. Manuel Adrian Salceda, 19, and his brother, a minor, were arrested at the site.

Authorities seized 8,127 marijuana starter plants as well as piping, chemicals, fertilizers and a full camp set-up with a week's worth of supplies, according to sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Ed Wise.

The California Department of Fish and Game will do a follow-up investigation to determine if any environmental contamination occurred in local streams or the reservoir because of the marijuana garden, Wise said in a statement.

Calaveras Reservoir is owned by the city and county of San Francisco and water officials there will also examine the site for possible watershed contamination, according to San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokeswoman Suzanne Gautier.

Illegal marijuana gardens are not uncommon on PUC-owned land, Gautier said.

"It's somewhere between regularly and unusual," Gautier said. "Wherever there are large swaths of untended land."

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