$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.

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Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Marijuana
soundoff (1,000 Responses)
  1. BlueMoonMilk

    For every weed you kill, four pop up in it's place. The same goes for the consumers of the weed. It's an exponential problem. Do the math and let's start making this money.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jenni

    Flippen Idiots... they could start taxing it and made the country money!!

    August 23, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Choomley

    Where are all the Republicans? Why aren't they calling for deregulation like they usually do? Those growers were given dominion over those lands by God Himself and should be (according to Republicans) allowed to reap the rewards of their free market attempts to grow God's special plants on American soil without worrying if pesticides kill all the fish – because you only need one fish and one loaf of bread to feed billions of people using God's Blessing.
    Where are the demands for deregulation of the drug laws, and all the regulations these agencies are wasting billions of dollars attacking these free-market capitalists?
    Hypocrisy much?

    August 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JL

    1 Billion dollars worth...Legalize it and tax it!!! Easy source of revenue for a cash strapped government. It's not like destroying it will cut down on demand.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Your a Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

    pushers sam stone and tjp44:
    Don't come over to Ohio, to scope out what you can rip off from Jeff for your stupid dope. Might be the last time you pull that kind of sh!t.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Your a Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

    pushers sam stone and tjp44:
    Don't come over to Ohio, to scope out what you can rip off from Jeff for your stupid dope. Might be the last time you pull off that kind of sh!t.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      few fries: still talking like a mouthy little b1tch, aren't you?

      August 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      jeff is a punk.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pillsville piper

    those of you who want to smoke mj and not go to a dealer to get it should try sea of green (shelf cannibis). you can take one closet and grow plenty enough for personal use, ordinary flourescent lights can be used, and you can order good quality seeds via the net. that way you won't be wasting money on the worthless brown mexican that is grown on federal lands. also law enforcement will always fight legalization as will the beer and liquor industry. mj was made illegal as a result of greed and it is kept that way for the same reason. in my state the politicians are trying to pass a law that requires welfare recipients to be drug tested. the only reason for this is that most of our politicians have invested in or have the support of the drug testing industry. a young man from palestine once said, the love of money is the root of all evil, i have found that statement to be as reliable as the law of gravity.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sean

    yeah, this is just absolutely ridiculous. what a waste on many levels .

    August 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      What a screw up! Here goes the gubmit again, raining of peaceful people's parade.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sean

    Boston Monkey you are being made a monkey out of, nobody chopped down any trees to grow pot. the plant grows naturally all over the world, nobody puts any chemicals all over them. i really doubt someone was flying over these farms spraying them for god's sakes, especially over national parks.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. You not the sharpest tool in the shed

    Bend down. We'll see who's the woman.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dingo

    Stop the arguing. Just sayin

    August 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sam stone

    Oh wow. I just pooped my depends. There's this leafy stuff in my crap.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Still on my case Mr. Stone? Bring it on. And I hope your over 18 years old. If I were you? I wouldn't post my real name either, having said what you did.
    Perhaps you could post a name, address, and a phone number, perhaps yours to get "free" pot samples for first time users and farmers.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      Posting what I did? Calling a loudmouth a loudmouth?

      August 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    You like blogging Mr. Stone? This is my first time, for about a year now.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I guess your paranoid intellect is making phone calls now, just to find out who I really am. And I really hope this is the case Mr. Stone, because I went out of my way being nice to you. Now it's time for you to find out how "insane" I am.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      "I guess your paranoid intellect is making phone calls now, just to find out who I really am"

      Speaking of paranoia....

      August 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
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