Running Springs, Calif. (VVNG.com) – Officials seized nearly 7,800 marijuana plants from illegal grow sites in the San Bernardino National Forest during a 2-day operation.
“Investigators believe members of illegal drug trafficking organizations are responsible for the marijuana grows,” stated a sheriff’s press release.
In a collaborative effort, the Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team conducted the operation with the U.S. Forest Service, and CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) in the San Bernardino National Forest near Fredalba Creek.
During the two-day operation, investigators found several plots of marijuana growing in the forest below Smiley Park in Running Springs. Camping equipment and a large abundance of trash was evidence that the suspects had been living near, and caring for, the large marijuana grows.
“The suspects cleared away the natural foliage which causes irreversible damage to the forest. They use the natural resources to facilitate and support the grow,” stated the release.
Officials say the natural terrain and heavy brush are often ideal sites to conceal the sites. Natural water sources, such as creeks and streams, serve as a water supply for the grow sites.
“Often times, the suspects will use fertilizers and toxic pesticides. These chemicals seep into the ground and contaminate the ground water and natural wildlife,” officials said.
Investigators seized nearly 7,800 marijuana plants from the illegal grow sites. There is no suspect information at this time.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.