$1 billion in pot destroyed in raids on federal lands
More than a half-million marijuana plants have been destroyed in the two-month federal operation.
August 22nd, 2012
07:51 AM ET

$1 billion in pot destroyed in raids on federal lands

More than $1 billion worth of marijuana has been uprooted from federal lands during a two-month operation targeting illegal pot farms, federal authorities announced Tuesday.

Operation Mountain Sweep has resulted in the destruction of  578,000 marijuana plants, Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, said in a press release.

The operation, involving agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as local agencies,  targeted growing sites on public lands in seven Western states - Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Wagner said 14 individuals in California have been indicted on charges resulting from Operation Mountain Sweep. Authorities have shut down 96 pot farms on public lands in California since the operation began July 1, the federal authorities said. Among those pot farms were sites in national forests and parks, including Death Valley National Park.

Besides producing an illegal crop, the pot farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash.

“Those who cultivate marijuana on public lands pose a safety threat to the public and an environmental threat to the land. Many of the grow sites are controlled by drug trafficking organizations, which arm their cultivators with dangerous firearms. The poisons they spread kill wildlife and native plants and pollute watersheds," Wagner said in the press release.

The operation will continue through the end of August, authorities said.

Opinion: Marijuana law just creates criminals

Four tons of marijuana pulled from ocean

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Marijuana
soundoff (1,000 Responses)
  1. pflatman

    More dreck from the neocon treestumps.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. W

    Just as no employer would want to hire someone who has no grasp of proper grammar. If you are going to blast people who smoke as undesirable in the work force you should at least know how to structure a proper sentence.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. Quit Whining

    Really??!!...Lil Wayne is a multimillionaire, Snoop Dog is a multimillionaire, Bill Clinton, George Bush all admitted to smokin weed....Give facts not your stupid a$$ belief......We are trillions of dollars in debt and they just destroyed $1Billion worth of marijuana...sell it and reduce the damn deficit...#Enough Said...

    August 22, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. CmaN

    "Besides producing an illegal crop, the pot farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash."

    Just shut up. You are diverting water sources and also generating a large amount of trash.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. claybigsby

    funny, using your logic, you would assume pot smokers would be the ones with terrible spelling and grammar errors.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Thomas

    alcoholics cause more problems than do pot smokers. look at the people in congress. Listen to John Boehner speak, he sounds like he is drinking all the time. Alcohol does more damage to families, people, job performance than does pot in terms of sick days away from work. Chronic long time drinkers die from all sorts of cancers caused by their addictions. Our bodies have cannaibinoid recepters to help us manage pain. Marijuana has a 5,000 year history in most parts of world of healing people and helping people cope with the pain from disease.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Sane Mind:
    What's wrong with drug and alcohol free. One or two like this come on this thread, and your attacked by 200 pot heads.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • claybigsby

      nothing is wrong with being drug and alcohol free, Jeff. But don't persecute me as a terrible person and throw me in jail for smoking weed. Don't tell me what I can and cant put in my body to benefit myself and I will not tell you what to do with yours.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. sam stone

    Right.....none of us work for a living. Go home, boy, and get your shinebox

    August 22, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Meh

    Yeah, they destroyed it.......sure
    /party at the white house this weekend but dont tell anyone

    August 22, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. A Flock of Illegals

    Im hungry for some reason

    August 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Sane Mind:
    What's wrong with drug and alcohol free? One or two like this come on this thread, and your attacked by 200 pot heads.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Diane Myers

    From a medical standpoint, MJ should be legalized. MJ does not have gruesome side effects some prescription drugs have on body and it can treat a large amount of medical conditions from glaucoma, seizures, PTSD, anxiety, depression, cancer, etc, etc, etc. The drug companies cannot figure out how to capitalize on this magic plant, from which you can eat, make fabric, paper, rope and medicine. So they lobby mightly against legalization. And it certainly would shot a hole in the Mexican drug cartel's money supply.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. max3333444555

    your just being jerky

    August 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. thinkb4speak

    This article isn't about the fed's arresting people for using medicinal marijuana or even going onto private property and destroying someones personal crop. This article is about the feds destroying the cartel's marijuana which they are growing on our federal land and destroying our beautiful country to make a profit. No law abiding citizen who respects our country is going to do a guerilla grow in California where obtaining a medical license to do it legally on your own property is as easy as picking up some ibuprofen at the local pharmacy. So more power to the feds and everyone else who has come together to take out a cash crop linked directly to crime(in this case). Yes I am a medicinal marijuana user and the cartels are the people responsible for making such a beautiful plant so villified in an organized crime world when they combine cocaine, meth, guns, and killing with this plant. So instead of instantly pointing the finger at the feds in this case, think about what the article and actions are actually targetting and support the fact that the federal government is taking out illegal criminals who are destroying our national parks and not private citizens growing for personal consumption.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 1amazed1

    I have heard that they take very very small starter marijuana plants and charge you at what would have been the money value of a full grown plant. Sounds like a sham to me.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      True...at least in some states & on the federal level...even a seed will get you charged with the same amount as a full-grown, mature plant.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37