Sheriff’s Office Eradicates More Weed Fields

Illegal Grows Discovered in Gaviota and Cuyama Valley Areas

Santa Barbara Sheriff’s deputies and detectives, accompanied by California National Guard personnel, ripped up around 5,000 marijuana plants during eradication efforts last week. The weed — worth approximately $16 million on the street — was found on U.S. Forest Service Land in the Gaviota and Cuyama Valley areas.

According to Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover, hunters were the first to discover a illegal grow in the Sulfur Springs Canyon area of Cuyama Valley and reported it to authorities. On August 1, two county helicopters helped in removing around 3,000 plants, 3,000 pounds of trash, and several weapons discovered at the scene. No suspects were found. On August 8, a helicopter crew observed an illegal marijuana grow above the Gaviota Tunnel, soon removing around 2,500 plants from the site. Again, no one was taken into custody.

Trash and irrigation tubing discovering during marijuana eradication in Cuyama Valley
Click to enlarge photo


Trash and irrigation tubing discovering during marijuana eradication in Cuyama Valley

“Both operations are under investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit,” Hoover said in a statement. “The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents that if they come across an illegal growing operation or see suspicious activity that they should leave the area immediately and call authorities. The suspects involved in marijuana growing operations are often times armed and potentially dangerous.”

Late last month, Santa Barbara and federal officials eradicated over 28,000 marijuana plants in the Cuyama Valley worth an estimated $85 million.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Plastic Bags? Throw ‘Em Away

Santa Barbara County makes recycling rules tougher in face of exacting standards.

UCSB Ranked Number Three in UC System

Cal and UCLA took the one and two spots.

Pini Property Fights Continue

As an epic attorney battle continues in the Dario Pini receivership, a tenant is getting fed up.

MTD Takes Stand Against Prop. 6

The bus company is concerned about the state funding it relies upon.

County Half-Jokes It Wants Cannabis ‘World Domination’

A government executive implores growers to get legal before time runs out.