Members of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team and Code Compliance Officers this week issued an abatement warrant for a Walker Road property, located in a rural area between Copperopolis and Jenny Lind, which was pending registration as a commercial marijuana cultivation site, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.

The sheriff’s office and its code compliance partners eradicated 2,978 marijuana plants and seized thousands of pounds of drying and processed marijuana from several sites.

Many more additional marijuana cultivation plots than the allowable canopy size had been discovered at the parcel, officials said.

When law enforcement and county officials arrived at the property several people fled on foot, with some drivers of vehicles also abandoning their cars to escape.

Five plots with a total of 680 marijuana plants were eradicated.

California Fish and Wildlife game wardens also responded to the site for evidence of poaching, and to evaluate the environmental impact of the area on nearby creeks.

A series of interconnected rural roads were discovered between the unauthorized marijuana grow and three surrounding parcels, which also had pending registrations as commercial marijuana cultivation sites and included the Walker Trail property where the original warrant was issued.

The Sheriff’s Office obtained search warrants for the surrounding locations and eradicated an additional 2,298 marijuana plants and a large quantity of marijuana in various stages of processing.

At each of the locations, campsites or personal property indicated that the individuals who had fled the scene were living there.

One firearm and a set of body armor was also seized.

The marijuana plant eradication process stretched until Thursday due to the large number and size of the plants, the news release said.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.