Officials reported that environmental damage and containers of a highly toxic rodenticide were found last week during a marijuana raid on public lands near Swede Creek in western Trinity County.
The raid and eradication operation were conducted Sept. 5 on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Swede Creek flows into the Trinity River west of Del Loma.
The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office said during the operation two males who had been working at the site fled, and Trinity County K-9 Johnny was deployed. K-9 Johnny apprehended one of the males, identified as Armando Vargas-Garcia, and a short time later officers apprehended the second male, identified as Eduardo Montero-Aleman.
A total of 8,656 growing marijuana plants and 232 pounds of processed marijuana were eradicated from this marijuana cultivation complex.
A scientist from Integral Ecology Research Center was brought in to assess the site. The preliminary environmental assessment documented approximately 840 pounds of soluble fertilizer, thousands of pounds of trash, and numerous water diversions connected to more than three miles of irrigation pipe, which were diverting thousands of gallons of water per day. Containers of Carbofuran, a highly toxic neurotoxicant rodenticide were found at this site, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Montero-Aleman, 36, and Vargas-Garcia, 37, were arrested and booked into the Trinity County Jail on charges of marijuana cultivation causing environmental damage, possession of marijuana for sale, conspiracy, unlawfully diverting water, depositing refuse within 100 feet of a waterway, depositing hazardous material in a waterway, unlawful use of a dangerous pesticide, and resisting a peace officer.
Agencies involved in this operation included the Sheriff’s Office, state Department of Fish and Wildlife Redding Cannabis Enforcement Program, Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations and the Integral Ecology Research Center.Damages, banned pesticide
found at grow on public land