Story at a glance

  • Los Angeles County authorities said Wednesday they seized more than $1 billion in illegal marijuana in an historic operation spanning 10 days.
  • Authorities seized 373,000 marijuana plants and 33,480 pounds of harvested marijuana.
  • County sheriff Alex Villanueva said an earlier aerial survey of the region revealed roughly 500 illegal grows compared to 150 in 2020.

Los Angeles County authorities said Wednesday they seized more than $1 billion in illegal marijuana in an historic operation spanning 10 days. 

Authorities seized 373,000 marijuana plants and 33,480 pounds of harvested marijuana worth an estimated $1.2 billion in the raid, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The operation reportedly led to 167 arrests and 91 firearms seizures. 

County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters Tuesday that a measure intended to control the distribution of marijuana did not work as planned and further exacerbated the challenges created by the illicit drug trade, according to The Antelope Valley Press. The sheriff said an aerial survey of the region revealed roughly 500 illegal grows compared to 150 in 2020. 

“For those who vote for Prop. 47 thinking there was going to be legalized and controlled and regulated market, it didn’t happen,” Villaneuva said. “Because by removing all the consequences or not conforming to the law we’ve created this massive industry.”


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State Rep. Mike Garcia, who joined the sheriff and Tuesday’s press conference, told reporters that the illegal grow sites are not a partisan issue. 

“This isn’t about right vs. left or Republicans vs. Democrat, this is about right vs. wrong and enforcing the law,” he said, according to the Antelope Valley Press. “These operations are not legal. The  players involved in these operations are putting our constituents and our residents in harms’ way. They’re threatening them on a daily basis.”

“You have my commitment that we’re going to continue to seek funds to support the local law enforcement agencies,” Garcia added. 

Villanueva planned a news conference to discuss further details of the recent 10-day effort on Wednesday morning, according to The AP. 


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Published on Jul 07, 2021