Agents seize $1.7 billion of pot in Central California

July 29, 2010

Law enforcement agents arrested nearly 100 people this week in a sweep of marijuana-growing operations worth more than $1.7 billion in the Sierra Nevada range. [AP]

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said several Mexican drug cartels were involved in the operations. Most of the 97 people arrested are Mexican nationals.

Gil Kerlikowske, who directs the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, said agents have destroyed more than 432,000 marijuana plants during the three-week operation, which is scheduled to end Friday.

The marijuana sweep, which involved 450 agents, covered the remote stretches of Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties.


15 Comments

  1. Paperboys says:

    $1.7 billion dollars? What are they smoking?
    Figure this total is inflated by at least four fold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    • pasowino says:

      “$1.7 billion dollars? What are they smoking?”

      Well, let’s do the math. 432,000 plants. Each plant may produce $4000 worth of pot, so that could be in the neighborhood of 1.7B. I don’t really know how much can grow on a plant, but $4,000 seems reasonable.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

      • mkaney says:

        Where do you get these magic plants that produce $4000 worth of pot? Oh I know, using the same logic that seems reasonable to you.

        1/8th ounce=$60 top street price = $480/oz
        480*MAX POSSIBLE weed by genetically engineered plant (12 ounces) = $5000+

        ok so you understand that MUCH of what the government says SOUNDS reasonable, and that is enough to push throw whatever they want, let’s break this down in reality.

        1/8th = $50
        1 oz= $300 (price break!)
        A plant normally produces about 6 ounces
        So that’s $1800

        Now if that was $1800 x 432,000 planets you’d still have over $700 million. But WAIT, there’s more they are LYING about. They did NOT find 432,000 plants of high yield THC producing Marijuana grown in controlled environments. More likely they found UNDER 10,000 such planets, and the remaining 420,000 are ditchweed. Remember, this plant is a native species and grows easily and everywhere. I can tell you that in 2007, 98% of the weed captured and destroyed by the DEA was ditchweed. Unfortunately, they got ‘smart’ and have now removed this information after it was reported on in 2007, they no longer publish this distinction annually.

        They have managed to create completely false aspects to the reality in which we live through lying consistently, repetitively, often causing most of the problems they claim to fight. How much reality differs from what most people perceive is ENORMOUS.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

        • pasowino says:

          Either way… 10,000 plants worth $1,000 or 432,000 plants worth $4,000, it’s off the street, shut down, kaput. Now, only 5,000 more groves of plants/ditchweed?? to get rid of.

          Mk, you seem to know a lot about this. You work for the cartel? DEA? College kid? When I was in college (about 10 years ago) an 1/8th was $60 (my roommate bought some every now and then). I figured it would have gone up in price by now. Maybe it’s so easy to grow in our national parks that they have achieved some pretty good economies of scale and have lowered the price.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        • Cindy says:

          pasowine is actually correct. There are growers who produce 2+lbs per plant. The people who were busted up in Grant’s Pass had 200lbs. As it turns out the grower (caregiver) had the legal amount of plants for their patients. They had 67 plants grown outside that produced the 200lbs and there are many other growers who produce the same bumper crops year after year. At $2,000 a lb, a mature plant can easily produce $4K worth of pot.

          I have to agree that in this county a plant is more likely to produce 1/2 a lb.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Paperboys says:

          The going rate right now on the streets of SLO County is $35 for a 1/4 ounce of average green-bud weed, which is what these guys are probably growing up in those hills.
          You want high-grade pot like they sell in the dispensaries for $25 a gram, you have to have total control of the light, the temp, the pH of the soil and the moisture too, you know grow it indoors.
          I’ve grown plants down in the creek (a long time ago to be sure) and we got about 2 ounces of good, sticky buds out of 8-foot tall plants.
          So in my experience, 2 ounces at $140 an ounce times 432,000 plants is still more than $120 million and one hellova lot of money. But that’s nowhere near $1.7 billion.
          This is why the cartels laugh at us. They send a bunch of illegals into the hills to grow millions worth of weed (retail price) and if they get busted, so what? They are untouchable down in Mexico and could care less. There are plenty more illegals where they came from and countless acres of wilderness to grow weed in. Meanwhile, the cops pat themselves on the back, hyper-inflate the figures to justify more OT and more equipment like helicopters, all to fight a war against weed that they have no hope of ever winning.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          • easymoney says:

            Pretty much nailed it right on the head. big money, lots of ILLEGALS working cheap or free, open public land with few rangers. Looks to me like a win win for the dopers…

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Concerned Parent says:

    Proposition 19 will allow ordinary American citizens to grow a little marijuana in their own backyards. It will carve the guts out of the drug gangs, get the drug cartels out of our National forests, and put an end to most of the border violence.

    When the prohibitionists start their propaganda machine, let’s just remember to ask ourselves, “If my child or grandchild got caught with a little marijuana, would I want him or her to go to jail?”

    I hope my kids don’t use marijuana, either as teenagers or as young adults, but if they do, I REALLY hope they don’t end up in jail! I hope that all parents will join in the fight to stop putting our own kids in jail over something as silly as marijuana. The effects of marijuana aren’t NEARLY as bad as the effects of JAIL WITH THE SEXUAL PREDATORS, and loss of financial aid, etc. It’s time to quit letting government officials ruin our kids’ lives over a little marijuana!
    Californians: register to vote
    Just fill out the form and mail it in!
    Other states: Google your state name and “voter registration” to find out how to register!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

    • easymoney says:

      I am a concerned parent as well, but my beef is not with a highshool kid smoking a joint under the bridge. It is with the ILLEGALS who grow thousands of plants on our public lands and boobietrap the area all to make oodles of money for the mexican drug cartels.
      The figures you guys have posted are in the ballpark, why do you think they do it? It is big business and they intend to protect their crops.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. easymoney says:

    “Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said several Mexican drug cartels were involved in the operations. Most of the 97 people arrested are Mexican nationals.”

    Problem, what problem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  4. calvertworthington says:

    Let’s be sure to keep marijuana ‘illegal’. Otherwise the cartels might stop making political donations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  5. standup says:

    Darn wetbacks. Get out of this country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

    • mkaney says:

      The police and economic regulators have driven many Americans out of the black markets, and when you create a vacuum, someone will move into fill it. Supply follows Demand. You absolutely CANNOT eliminate demand, period. Sometimes transcendental acceptance of something like drug use, even with it’s consequences, is the best solution. If you want to keep drugs illegal, but don’t want Mexican Cartels, then let the bikers take the meth market back.

      It sucks but, but this is a planet of yin and yang. You won’t stop the movement of peoples even with a wall. Tension will just build up behind that wall until it breaks.

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