Feds raid Sanger pot farm, destroy thousands of plants

July 29, 2011

Thousands of marijuana plants were seized and destroyed, and at least 50 workers arrested as federal agents and Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies raided a giant pot plantation near Sanger on Thursday. [Fresno Bee]

The pot-growing operation had observation towers, neatly cultivated rows of plants in various stages of growth, living quarters for workers, surrounded by a barbed wire cyclone fence covered with plastic sheeting to prevent passersby from seeing into the compound.

But residents and police were aware that the farm had been in operation for some time. Sheriff Margaret Mims described the farm as part of  “a domestic drug-trafficking cartel,” and said it wasn’t the first time deputies made arrests at the site.

Deputies assisted the Drug Enforcement Administration in November 2010 in a similar raid. The plants were removed but soon a new crop emerged.

Sheriff’s officials were not surprised. “It’s a huge problem in Fresno and in the whole state of California,” said Lt. Rick Ko.

In fact, federal agents are conducting raids in six northern California counties in a major pot-busting operation to rid the Mendocino National Forest of illegal grows. As of Monday, those raids had netted 300,000 plants and 77 arrests.

In Sanger, meanwhile, deputies worked 12 hours in 90-plus degree heat to tear up the field and remove the plants. Five were treated for heat-related illness and one was hospitalized but recovering.



  1. Citizen says:

    Just who was in charge of the operation is unclear. Fresno County tax assessor’s records list Goon Pattanumotana of Fresno as the owner of the 54-acre parcel, but Pattanumotana said he has leased out the property to several farmers and has no direct oversight of what is grown there.

    Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/07/28/2480628/50-acre-marijuana-farm-near-sanger.html#ixzz1TbnP5eKi

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. standup says:

    The big bad DEA is on the loose again. At least the state BNE is probably not a part of it since their budget just got gutted.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  3. pasoparent5 says:

    Never tried the stuff but if I had to live in Sanger, I’d probably smoke pot, too.

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
    • oto says:

      HA!HA!HA! That’s a good one liner! I wonder what people will say when the question whether or not to allow a marijuana dispensary in Oceano, is presented to the OCSD for approval? Of course, people will inevitably use the medical marijuana laws to smoke pot within that small margin of legality (under California’s state law, that is….)

      I favor legalization for three reasons:

      1. Marijuana is an alternative to alcohol addiction and is a possible treatment for it.

      2. Legalization of marijuana will have an adverse economic effect upon the illegal sale of marijuana that is now taking place on a large scale across international borders. Both the sale, transport and cultivation of marijuana can then be more accurately documented and taxed. This is not to presume that the use of marijuana will be trouble-free. But when compared to meth, heroine, and addictive prescription drug use, I believe the medical side-effects of marijuana are less harmful and easier and more cost-effective to treat.

      3. Legalization will deprive corrupt county, state and federal employees from benefitting from marijuana’s illegal status. Recent newspaper articles about the DEA and marijuana trafficking across U.S. borders can fill in the details for any reader who is interested.

      Finally, marijuana has been the subject of numerous medical studies which can be accessed from the Internet. These medical studies and scholarly articles go back as far as the 1930’s. Of course, the most healthy human animal is the one who doesn’t use any of this stuff. But in this day and age, given all the horrible stuff that is so easy to get, there has to be some legal alternative to alcohol.

      What do you think?

      (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
      • Vagabond says:

        I say all your arguments are stupid. Plain and simple, smoking pot makes you feel good. people want to feel good. If allowed, they want to feel good in their own homes without bothering any body else. Got a problem with that?

        (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          I must be reading something wrong here. Vagabond, what part of oto’s post do you have a problem with? Just curious.

          @oto, I don’t believe that it’s up to the OCSD to approve,,,I might be wrong but because they aren’t incorporated isn’t it up to the county?

          (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  4. Paperboys says:

    For every plant that gets pulled out of the ground 10 are never discovered.
    It’s a losing battle and the people don’t really want the government to win.
    The world is a better place because marijuana is with us. Without weed all other of society’s ills — alcoholism, drug addiction, etc… — would get worse.
    Leave my weed alone!

    (9) 25 Total Votes - 17 up - 8 down
  5. Typoqueen says:

    “a domestic drug-trafficking cartel,”

    What in the h*ll does that mean? Were they violent? The cops knew they were there. It sounds as if they are trying to vilify the growers.

    (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
  6. Vagabond says:

    Is there anybody out there dense enough to believe that these complete waste of taxpayer’s resources will result in less pot smoking? Legalize the growing of three plants for personal use and get rid of the infraction, that’s right, an infraction! It’s just as illegal to go 70 mph on the freeway when its posted for 65 as it is to smoke pot. End the stupid wasteful “war” on MJ!

    (20) 34 Total Votes - 27 up - 7 down
    • morpheus says:

      Even if this waste of money DID result in less pot smoking, what would that achieve. How would it benefit society? How would my life improve?

      The answer is IT WOULDN’T!

      The only benefactors of the ridiculous war on drugs are the drug Cartels and the fat and happy law enforcement agencies who use it to fund their own job and retirement security.

      (10) 24 Total Votes - 17 up - 7 down

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