RIDGECREST, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern County Sheriff's Office along with several other agencies broke up several illegal marijuana grow operations in Ridgecrest and Inyokern this week.
In a statement, the KCSO said that they had received numerous complaints from residents about the illegal operations. The complaints included an increase in crime in the area as well as trash from the facilities. In addition, it was alleged that the operations were stealing and diverting water.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the KCSO, along with Kern County Probation Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), along with Kern County High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force broke up 10 illegal marijuana grow sites. They destroyed almost 14,000 marijuana plants and seized over 870 pounds of processed marijuana and 8 firearms.
Twenty-nine people were arrested on a variety of charges, including cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
In addition to the marijuana, authorities found numerous unknown chemicals on the site, with some labeled “veneno muerto,” which translates to “poison death.”
Anyone with information regarding an illegal marijuana grow is asked to contact KCSO at (661) 861-3110 or Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040.