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Over 20,000 Marijuana Plants Discovered, Uprooted In Ventura County

Photo: Ventura County Sheriff's Department/Courtesy
Photo: Ventura County Sheriff's Department/Courtesy

Two plots that contained a total of 22,478 marijuana plants in the Los Padres National Forest were eradicated on Friday after being discovered by a Sheriff's Air Unit helicopter that morning.

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The marijuana plantation, located north of Ojai in Ventura County, had the potential to produce eleven tons of marijuana with an estimated street value of $88,000,000, according to Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities found multiple campsites that included a makeshift kitchen containing a propane stove, cabinets, and hundreds of pounds of food.

Photo: Ventura County Sheriff's Department/Courtesy
Photo: Ventura County Sheriff's Department/Courtesy

Forest vegetation was cleared to make way for the plants, which were in various stages of growth, and irrigated with grower created reservoirs. Roughly thirteen acres of public land was used. The effects from fertilizer and pesticide use in the area is unknown.

This is not the first time the Los Padres National Forest has been used to grow pot. Last July 68,488 plants were uprooted in the forest. The potential street value of the marijuana grown was estimated at more than $205 million. It was the largest marijuana cultivation in Ventura County history.

The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made, but authorities urge anyone with information to contact the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

For ongoing environmental coverage in March 2017 and afterward, please visit our show Earth Focus, or browse Redefine for historic material.
KCET's award-winning environment news project Redefine ran from July 2012 through February 2017.

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