Law enforcement agencies raided a marijuana cultivation site on public land near the Trinity Alps Wilderness boundary in Trinity County, arresting two persons, seizing marijuana, and finding thousands of pounds of trash.
The raid Aug. 4 was a result of a months-long investigation of a Hispanic drug trafficking organization operating on public lands near the Trinity Alps Wilderness boundary on the Shasta Trinity National Forest in Trinity County, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office said.
During the operation, several persons attempted to flee the scene.
Trinity County K-9 “Johnny” and California Department of Fish and Wildlife K-9 “Gillie” were deployed and apprehended two subjects.
Officers seized 1,888 growing marijuana plants and 200 pounds of processed marijuana. There was evidence at the site that many more plants had already been harvested.
Thousands of pounds of trash, miles of black irrigation pipe, dozens of propane tanks, hundreds of pounds of fertilizer and plant supplements were also at the site. A loaded SKS rifle was recovered in the complex, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Scientists and ecologists from Integral Ecology Research Center were brought into the site to evaluate and document the impact of the water diversion and the infrastructure that will need to be remedied.
Manuel Cardenas, 32, of Jomulco, Mexico, and Genaro Merino, 34, of Merced, Calif., were arrested and booked into the Trinity County Jail on charges including marijuana cultivation causing environmental damage, possession of marijuana for sale, conspiracy, unlawful diversion of water, depositing hazardous material in a waterway, and obstructing or resisting an officer.