RUNNING SPRINGS – Nearly 7800 marijuana plants were located hidden in heavy brush located in the San Bernardino National Forest earlier this week.
On Wednesday, August 2nd and Thursday, August 3rd the Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team and Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) conducted an operation in near Fredalba Creek in the San Bernardino National Forest. Several plots of marijuana was found growing in an area below Smiley Park in Running Springs.
Authorities said that camping equipment and trash throughout the area indicated that suspects caring for the cultivations were living near the area. Investigators believe that members of illegal drug trafficking organizations were responsible for the grows located in the area.
In order to plant the cultivation natural foliage was removed, which causes irreversible damage to the forest. “They use the natural resources to facilitate and support the grow,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials said. “The natural terrain and heavy brush are often used to conceal the grow sites from law enforcement officials.” The unknown suspects also used natural water sources, such as creeks and streams as a water supply for the grow sites. The suspects may also have used fertilizers and/or toxic pesticides, which seep into the ground contaminating ground water and natural wildlife.
The marijuana plants were seized, but no suspects have been identified at this time. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
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- cultivation: file