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Big Pot Bust Near Temecula Part Of Two-Year Investigation, U.S. Attorney Says

"With these arrests and raids, we have eradicated a marijuana drug trafficking organization that had hijacked our forests and parks," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

Ten people, including mid- to high-level managers of a drug trafficking ring, were charged Wednesday in a case involving the seizure of more than 45,000 marijuana plants during raids on eight grow-farms on public land in San Diego and Riverside counties -- including near Temecula -- a federal official announced.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy told reporters in San Diego that "Operation Mountain High" was a two-year investigation that began after drug agents performing routine aerial surveillance spotted a remote marijuana farm in Julian in the summer of 2010.

On Tuesday, agents seized a dozen firearms and 300 pounds of processed marijuana with a street value of more than $300,000 during raids at farms in Julian, Valley Center, Pala, Palomar Mountain, the Cleveland National Forest and Riverside, she said.

Fourteen phone lines were tapped for nearly six months, producing hundreds of hours of intercepted conversations that were key to building the case, Duffy said.

"With these arrests and raids, we have eradicated a marijuana drug trafficking organization that had hijacked our forests and parks," she said. "We are not going to hand over our pristine public lands to gun-toting narco- farmers who destroy our landscape and harm the environment with pesticides so toxic that they are banned in the U.S."

Officials believe the drug traffickers are part of a much larger criminal operation based in Mexico.

Duffy said the organization used undocumented workers smuggled into the United States to tend to the marijuana crops.

The organization manufactured and distributed marijuana in locations throughout southern and central California, and had links to other cannabis grows in Northern California, Utah and Idaho, authorities said.

Members of the public who happen upon a marijuana-growing operation should not confront anyone and immediately call police, said William Sherman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego.

"These are dangerous drug traffickers, is what they are," Sherman said.

Six of the 10 arrestees were taken into custody Tuesday. All of the defendants are charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

Brenda December 02, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Mexicans are not to blame, they are just smart enough to make sure they always have ways to keep feeding the USA the drugs, LOL, and they keep hauling in the money. Problem is the $$$ they make all goes to the drug lords, not the people who need it so they stop coming here. I understand what you are saying Nathan, but seriously the USA cannot afford these illegals any longer, not just from Mexico but from any countries. If they come here with papers and go to work then they pay taxes like the rest of us and instead of just taking they are giving like the rest of us in the USA have to do .
Lulu January 12, 2013 at 06:24 AM
I'm an actual Mexican born in Mexico. Came here when I was eight. No it is not easy to come here to this wonderful country. It is really sad to see Mexicans get sucked into this shit. They give us hard working people a bad name. But I must agree that it's supply and demand. Mexico supplies and the demand is here in the us.
Brenda January 12, 2013 at 09:27 AM
LuLu, if you all came here legally, apply for the Visa's, etc the proper way you would come into this country ready to work and free. NOt swimming rivers, not carrying 50lb bags of drugs on your backs, and not continuing to do that back and forth for the next 10 years or so until you get killed. I was the documentaries nightly and Mexican illegals really believe they are walking into the land of the "free" and that with just a few documents for another 100 bucks or from the Drug Jeffee, they can get aid, a place to live, food cards, free food from all the agencies in the area, medical care at emergency rooms for their children, and have their babies in the ERs and the list goes on and on. THAT Is not the way it works. Illegals are illegal when they come here and stay that way. They will end up working for a Drug Lord, cartel to pay for their transportation here. They will make drugs, manufacture all the other drugs like mad scientists, package, and transport them further north, east, and also get involved in traffic'ing humans, babies, and also prostituion. The men who come here and work so hard in fields are ones who come here with a visa, and have went through and started the process of being able to stay in America, pay taxes, work, and try to make a life here. Right now its hard to make a life here. The ones who come here illegally are the ones who continue in illegal activities. Thats the way it it. They kill, they do what Jeffe says. :/
Brenda January 12, 2013 at 09:33 AM
BTW Lulu and its not just Mexican that come into this country this way. Asians also are victims of their own crime bosses that get them into the country and run illegal businesses, drug manufacturing, transporting all kinds of goods like cigarettes, booze for liquor stores, prostitution rings, and also human transporting. They also believe they will come here for an easier life, but NO that is not the way it is and in reality any person should be wise enough to know that nothing comes for free or when you try to get it illegally. I know many people in Mexico, extremely rich and extremely poor. The ones who are poor will tell you straight up their people are lazy and just want to sit around drink beer and eat all day or sleep while others with motivation will take a full time or more hour job at a hotel, work hard, make around 60 to 80 bucks a week plus some tips and survive very well until they get all their paperwork ready to come to the USA. The rich do pay their employees crap while they live in a beautiful huge house on top of a mountain overlooking their ocean front resort. Their own planes, limos, drivers, and they mostly all come from ole money. But they do take care of their employees. A few I know actually have a doctor they keep around to care for any of their employees who get sick to try and keep them healthy and working, provide uniforms to wear. For ones who do not work they go to the doctor for a pig trade or something like that. :)
Guy Falkes January 17, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Only a true psychopath could destroy someones life over a plant. How many psychopaths do we have on the payroll. Time to stop those that choose to wage war on fellow citizens. It could be said they commit treason, they wage war for profit.

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