Sheriff issues safety warning about marijuana grows
Tuesday, Aug. 27 — Each year, law enforcement agencies deal with large-scale marijuana grows found on public lands.
According to Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon, the grows are often discovered by citizens who are hunting, fishing or hiking in remote areas.
He briefly addressed the issue during public comment of the Tuesday, Aug. 27 meeting of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors.
“Every year … we encounter marijuana grows out on our public lands. This year we’ve done one already up by Snowstorm Mountain and we’re working on trying to investigate others,” Growdon said. “With hunting season starting to ramp up … we have more people out in those remote areas and this is when we start to discover those marijuana gardens. People just happen across them and so we want to remind people what to look for and what to do if they run into one.”
According to Growdon, marijuana gardens in Lassen County range anywhere from 1,000 to 35,000 plants.
Gardens are usually near a water source, such as in or near a canyon by a creek.
He said they have seen gardens where water has been moved through an irrigation line, as far as a mile from the water source.
Signs people should be aware of are:
• Campsites in a remote area that looks like it is camouflaged, built with branches and other vegetation to avoid being seen from the air or ground.
•Trash, food, fertilizer, poisons, or other supplies located in remote areas.
•Irrigation materials including pipe (normally black drip style) water pumps, or generators.
•Heavily traveled trails in areas where they shouldn’t be.
•Persons along the roadway where they shouldn’t be.
•People dropping off food or other supplies alongside the roadway.
According to Growdon, most of the gardens in Lassen County are operated by drug cartels who bring in Mexican nationals to do the labor on those grow sites.
“And what they’ll do is they drop them off in these remote areas to work the garden and then they deliver them food periodically and every once in a while they’ll swap personnel,” he said. The guys normally tending the gardens, they don’t have immediate access to vehicles or anything else. They’re working and living on the site.”
If people encounter what they believe to be a marijuana grow, Growdon advises them to leave the area immediately, preferably the way they entered, trying to make little noise, contact law enforcement as soon as possible and try to provide as much information as you can, what you saw and the location to help them find it.
“It’s unfortunate we have to make these reminders every year but … just about every year, someone ends up getting killed on one of these grow sites, somewhere in California just by happening to walk into them. So just be careful,” Growdon said. “Most of these guys are armed, sometimes they do put up booby traps and other things.”
He also noted the damages to the environment a marijuana grow can have.
“They bring in poisons from Mexico and things that aren’t allowed within the United States, they poison animals and our watersheds and everything else,” he said.
Lassen High wrestling hosts Purple and Gold Scrimmage
The Lassen High School wrestling team held its annual Purple and Gold Scrimmage on Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the Lassen High gym. The wrestling team broke up into two teams, purple and gold, and faced off in a night of wrestling that gave fans a taste of what they can expect in the coming season. Lassen...Read More...
Cougars face tough teams to prepare for a victorious season
TJ McCauley attempts to keep the ball away from a Fresno City College player during the championship basketball game of the El Camino Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 24. The Lassen Community College Cougars have been competing in pre-season tournaments and have earned several wins. Photo by Scott Nordstrom Dec....Read More...
Susanville native to play in college bowl with Boise State
Darren Lee, a Lassen High School graduate and former Lassen High football player, now plays football for Boise State and will be going with the team to a college bowl game in late December. Photo by Boise State Media Relations Dec. 6 — A Susanville native is making strides in his football career...Read More...