SLO sheriff deputies seize about $20 million of illegal marijuana

August 17, 2019

Deputies raided an illegal marijuana grow located in a rural area near Lopez Lake on Thursday. It appeared Mexican nationals operated the grow which was estimated to produce a harvest worth more than $20 million, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. [Cal Coast Times]

Early this week, members of the Sheriff’s Cannabis Enforcement Team spotted an illegal grow near Hi Mountain Road while they were conducting a reconnaissance mission. The grow was located on both private property and national forest land, and the individuals operating the cultivation site were trespassing in order to access the location.

About 7 a.m. Thursday, sheriff’s detectives raided the site and seized 3,003 budding marijuana plants. If the plants had matured, they would have an estimated retail value of more than $20 million, the sheriff’s office stated in a news release.

The Sheriff’s Cannabis Enforcement Team, Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, Cal Fire, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Land Management and the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting participated in the investigation. Authorities did not make any arrests.

Evidence from the scene indicates the grow may have been part of a “Mexican national cultivation operation,” investigators said.

In addition to being illegal, the operation generated environmental hazards due to use of chemicals and pesticides. Likewise, a nearby creek was dammed, so water could be diverted to the cannabis plants, and the operation generated a large amount of trash.

An investigation into the marijuana grow is ongoing.


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That’s funny they are still using the same value on pot plants as we did in the 1990’s when I was on the Narcotics Task Force. The real value of what is probably low grade plants is less than $100 per plant in this market especially because they haven’t started to Bud.

All depends on how one wants to do the math.

If they were good growers and we applied ‘Cop Math’, 5lb per plant x 3000 = 15,000lbs. Sell it off by the gram at $20 per gram (no large grower would ever do this, but we are playing cop math here)… that comes out to 448g in a lb x $20/g = $8960/lb x 15000lb = $134,400,000

In reality:

Average grower, 1lb per plant x 3000 = 3000lbs, sell off at $100/lb = $300,000.

Crappy illegal grower, 1/2lb per plant x 3000, sell it off at $50/lb = $75,000

$20 million!?! That’s 6,600 per plant.

I call bullshit. No way one plant can produce that kind of money.

Totally agree. That number is astronomical, especially for some outdoor crap.

You find grows like this because of the high cost of cannabis. It’s “legal” now, so why is the cost so high? Because local governments saw a chance to make money. They proceeded to limit access to a few dispensaries (the ones who could pay to play). They prevented the average Joe from growing by forcing them indoors and limiting them to six plants. They make it impossible for large grows to happen based on the “odor”. Sorry Bob, progressives got it right by legalizing it; local governments f**ked it up after that.

20 million?, sorry, I meant to say 10 million….

Taking into consideration the amount of traffic,hikers,bikers,etc, its a wonder the “Mexican nationals” didn’t take somebody out who saw what they weren’t supposed to see. These illegal grows often tap into a property owners water source and the owners dont even know it. They also use long ago banned herbicides or poisons for their grows and contaminate water ways and private property.Equally comparing if a US property owner was caught using these chemicals or altering the land to accommodate illegal activity they would be destroyed one piece at a time by our government regulators. Still people wonder why some scream about enforcing current immigration laws.Funny how one person can literally stop progress,put a halt to so many different projects or change the world so to say, yet far more than that “one person ” is killing one another, or doing this kind of illegal and harmful crap, and that’s looked at as just part of doing business and no reason to uphold any current laws.

Mexican nationals…now how’d THEY get here?

Hey wait! I thought legalization was going to ELIMINATE this serious issue of illegal foreign invaders taking over our forests and threatening the citizens of this country.

The progressives get it wrong. Every. Single. Time.

Man, you must have seen them, huh? Were there lots of them? You know, those illegal foreign invaders? Hundreds, maybe even thousands of ’em?!!!

But now back to reality… Come up here, around the California Oregon borders, get out of your car and take a hike on one of the many fire roads or power line roads, and you may smell that sweat smell of cannabis. There are many, many, many illegal grows up here, almost all of them done by generational American white as bleached sheets growers! It ain’t just a Mexican thing, Bubbha!

There will always be an illegal element to every endeavor this capitalistic country can dream up, and you think pot would be any different?

Jeeez! When you expect perfection you’ll always be let down…

“…taking over our forests…” Yea, right! Not if Bigfoot has anything to say about it they won’t.

“Murder Mountain” will show ya that good ‘ol American bred, born and raised growers can get down too…

How were the plants watered? A landowner must have been involved.