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632,000 pot plants seized in California

  |   Aug. 9, 2011 at 3:39 PM
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UKIAH, Calif., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Law enforcement officers who spent three weeks combing California's Mendocino National Forest collected a pile of 632,000 marijuana plants, officials say.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and state Department of Justice said officers also seized about 2,000 pounds of processed marijuana, $38,000 in cash and 20 vehicles. A total of 132 people were arrested in Operation Full Court Press, the Ukiah Daily Journal reported Monday.

The three-week operation, which involved more than 300 officers from 25 law enforcement agencies, sought out illegal marijuana patches in six counties, the newspaper said.

The operation also resulted in the removal of 51,404 pounds of trash, 40 miles of irrigation line, 5,459 pounds of fertilizer and 149 pounds of pesticides from the marijuana-growing sites.

"I've spent 18 years with the [Bureau of Land Management] in Northern California, and I've seen the marijuana industry evolve from small, personal use gardens to large-scale complexes with armed guards on public lands," BLM Special Agent in Charge Laurel Pistel said. "We were proud to be a partner in this large-scale effort. It's a win for the environment and the public."

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