Deputies and state National Guard personnel recently seized more than 26,500 marijuana plants, 1,830 pounds of processed marijuana, 198 pounds of marijuana edibles, and 5.3 pounds of concentrated marijuana in warrant-backed searches at 11 locations in Calaveras County, according to Sheriff’s Office staff.
The searches were part of a law enforcement plan called Operation Green Wave, and they took place July 9 through 11. Asked Monday if there was any more to add to Operation Green Wave totals and if there have been any more searches since July 11, Sheriff Rick DiBasilio said, “Nothing has changed.”
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors has a special meeting scheduled Tuesday to deal with cannabis-related issues.
DiBasilio said the searches last week were part of a month-long investigation of illegal cannabis cultivation directly associated with environmental crimes, with help from the California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force.
The sheriff said Operation Green Wave demonstrates cooperation between agencies and the California National Guard to investigate and prosecute people responsible for criminal acts and environmental damage in Calaveras County “with far-reaching effects to the state’s most valuable resources such as land and water.”
Seven people were arrested as a result of the searches, and 14 cases were referred to the county District Attorney for prosecution, DiBasilio said.
Here’s a summary of where warrant-backed searches were conducted and what was seized:
• At a grow on the 600 block of Ealey Road in Glencoe, law enforcement seized 736 marijuana plants, 100.6 pounds of processed marijuana, 198 pounds of cannabis edibles and firearm.
• On the 6900 and 7100 blocks of Cedar Springs Road in Mountain Ranch, law enforcement seized 16,744 marijuana plants and 10 pounds of processed marijuana.
• On the 5100 block of Hawver Road in Mokelumne Hill, law enforcement seized 1,206 marijuana plants, 4 pounds of processed marijuana, $3,580 in cash, and eight firearms. Two citations were issued.
• On the 6000 block of Hawver Road in Mokelumne Hill, law enforcement found an alleged butane honey oil lab and seized 197 marijuana plants. Two citations were issued.
• On the 2200 block of Gold Strike Road in San Andreas, law enforcement found another alleged butane honey oil lab and seized 2,569 marijuana plants, 1,718 pounds of processed marijuana, 5.31 pounds of concentrated marijuana and 9 grams of methamphetamine.
• On the 7300 block Schaad Road in Wilseyville, law enforcement seized 388 marijuana plants and two firearms and made one arrest.
• On the 1300 block of Higdon Road in West Point, law enforcement seized 2,659 marijuana plants.
• On the 10700 block of Walker Trail Road in Copperopolis, law enforcement seized 1,933 marijuana plants. One citation was issued.
• On the 9800 block of Smokey Ridge Road in Sheep Ranch, law enforcement found another alleged butane honey oil lab and seized 3 pounds of processed marijuana.
• On the 6300 block of Mountain Ranch Road, between San Andreas and the town of Mountain Ranch, law enforcement seized 164 marijuana plants and 212 pounds of processed marijuana. One citations was issued.
• On the 13500 block of Jesus Maria Road in the Mountain Ranch area, one marijuana plant and 5 pounds of processed marijuana were seized at an abandoned site.
In a prepared statement, DiBasilio said due to the nature of watershed systems in Calaveras County, environmental damage that begins in the mountains and foothills of Calaveras County has significant impacts into other parts of California, including the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay area.
“Specifically, the Mokelumne River Watershed leads directly into East Bay Municipal Utilities District reservoirs, which is the water source for millions of California residents,” DiBasilio said. “The area of this operation also included the Stanislaus River drainage system, which affects millions of residents and agricultural water in the Central Valley and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the Board of Supervisors has a special meeting scheduled Tuesday for cannabis-related issues, including the increase of county contracts with hired lawyers who are defending the county against pending litigation by formerly registered growers who are suing the county, and an appeal hearing on a denial of a grower’s commercial medical cannabis registration application.
On July 5, 2016, a grower named Tamara J. Lister submitted an application for commercial medical cannabis cultivation registration. The registrant indicated she was seeking registration for a mixed-light cultivation site with a total canopy area of 22,000 square feet.
Citing state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cal Fire findings, county planning commission staff said Lister graded part of the parcel used for cultivation, and cultivation on the site had caused harm to streams, fish and wildlife.