The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office recently eradicated 7,943 plants and destroyed over 300 pounds of illegally processed cannabis flower in Santa Maria as they served a search warrant for environmental crimes.
The illegal grow was located in the 1400 block of Tepusquet Road, which is considered an environmentally sensitive area home to native plants, fish, and other species. Commercial cannabis cultivation is prohibited in the area by the county.
“We appreciate the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s partnership in the eradication of this illegal grow,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. “In addition to the unfair competition that these illicit growing and distribution operations have on legitimate, legal cannabis operations, this case also shows how detrimental they are to our sensitive environment.”
CDFW scientists documented several environmental violations, including substantially altering a streambed, placing materials deleterious to fish and wildlife where it may pass into a stream, and stockpiling rubbish in and around a nearby tributary.
A formal complaint will be filed with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office.