In a stunning new report released Tuesday by the U.S. Forest Service detailing a drug bust operation conducted in August of this year, deep inside Northern California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest, in which local sheriff’s office, accompanied by more than a dozen armed officers and other agencies raided and arrested two Mexican cartel members seizing over 8,656 growing marijuana plants and 232 pounds of processed marijuana.
Officers also dismantled the entire operation which was well camouflaged under the thick canopies tree. The raid was one of many sites used by the Mexican drug cartel.
The U.S. Forest Service along with law enforcement raid and dismantle hundreds of illegal Mexican marijuana sites each year in California’s national forests.
Forest, wildlife ecologist Mourad Gabriel who accompanies law enforcement agents on raids, was especially concerned regarding the growing environmental hazards concerning the alarming rate of wildlife and natural resources being negatively impacted by the hundreds of illegal marijuana sites using deadly pesticides poisoning rivers, streams, and lakes.
In this raid alone the U.S. Forest Service found over 3,000 pounds of trash, including discarded clothing, propane tanks and spent cans of insecticide, in addition to three miles of plastic irrigation pipes and open bags of fertilizer were also discovered at the site, suggesting the operation had been in use for years.
“The true crime here is the fact that they’re killing off basically America’s public lands, killing off the wildlife, killing off our water,” Kevin Mayer, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement assistant special agent in charge, told NPR. “This is stuff that, you know, it’s not going to repair itself.”