San Bernardino’s Operation Hammer Strike Concludes Illegal Cannabis Eradication

In a press release, the MET published data on the many successes of the operation. “Since August 26, 2022, MET investigators have issued 127 search warrants and arrested 103 suspects at illegal growing sites,” he said. “As a result of the search warrant, investigators seized 158,906 marijuana plants, 29,897 pounds of processed marijuana, 30 firearms, 28,259 grams (62.3 pounds) of concentrated marijuana, 5,443 grams (11.9 pounds) of psilocybin mushrooms, and approximately $1,643,688.00 in illegal proceeds.Investigators also eradicated 1,188 greenhouses found at these locations, mitigating six electrical bypasses and seven tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extraction labs.”

All investigations found criminals violating California’s Medical and Adult Cannabis Restriction and Safety Act, which does not allow commercial cannabis, as well as San Bernardino County ordinances. The county also does not allow cannabis cultivation outdoors.

Operation Hammer Strike has ended, but the department said county sheriffs will continue to investigate illegal cultivation. “The Sheriff’s Gang/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California’s cannabis laws and the San Bernardino County Cannabis Cultivation and Distribution Ordinance. , and subject to seizure of property.”

Operation Hammer Strike begins September 2021At the time, an estimated 1,285 cases of illegal cultivation were reported throughout the county. In September, the MET launched search warrant investigations into his Hesperia, Pinon Hills, Phelan, and Landers, resulting in numerous arrests and seizures of cannabis plants, processed cannabis products, firearms, and $30,000 of his cash. rice field.In the same month, another survey yielded more results Arrest and product seizureThis trend will continue in 2021-2022, October 2021November 2021, January 2022, FebruaryWhen march.

In March, San Bernardino County sponsored state legislation to stop illegal cannabis cultivation in Congress Bill 2728 and Senate Bill 1426. “Illegal cannabis cultivation is ravaging desert communities in San Bernardino County,” said supervisor Kurt Hagman. “The county is determined to stop this horrific damage to the environment and protect the lives and property of our residents from lawless criminals.”

Congressman Thurston “Smitty” Smith also explained the reasons behind the move to end illegal cultivation. I support their choice, but what they didn’t want was rampant farming and illegal markets sapping resources, destroying the environment, and endangering our communities. It was,” Smith said.

By May 2022, an area in San Bernardino County reported no reports of cannabis cultivation in the area. “There are no reported crops left in the Morongo Basin at all, although I’m sure there are more,” said Shannon Dicus, Sheriff of the Morongo Basin. high desert starSan Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe commented on the prompt action call. “It usually takes a long time in this county to make changes for the residents, but this was not the case. On behalf of the residents, thank you for making it a safe place to live again.” Rowe said.

Statewide efforts to eliminate illegal cannabis growth continue steadily. In October 2021, Rob Bonta, California’s attorney, announced that more than one million cannabis plants were destroyed as a result of the Campaign Against the Cultivation of Marijuana (CAMP). “Illegal and unlicensed marijuana cultivation negatively impacts our environment, our economy, and the health and safety of our communities,” Bonta said in a press release.

As recently as July, agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced an enforcement team’s permit to investigate illegal farming during the 2022 growing season.

In October, Bonta announced that from now on, CAMP will be called Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis (EPIC) and will continue to investigate illegal cultivation. “The illegal market is more important than the legal market,” he says Bonta. “It’s upside down. Our goal is to completely eradicate the illegal market.”

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