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HCSO: 13,500 marijuana plants found at 3 non-permitted parcels near Willow Creek Tuesday

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office posted to its Instagram story during the busts.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) reported that deputies eradicated a total of 13,502 marijuana plants from three non-permitted sites near Willow Creek Tuesday.

On July 9, deputies with the HCSO Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and wardens with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served three search warrants to investigate the illegal cultivation of marijuana in Northern Humboldt.

Three parcels were investigated during the service of the warrants. The parcels did not possess nor were they in the process of actively obtaining commercial cannabis permits with Humboldt County, the sheriff's office said.

At the first parcel, located off of Highway 299 in the Ruby Creek watershed, deputies and wardens located two green houses and multiple outdoor marijuana cultivation gardens. Deputies eradicated a total of 4,305 growing marijuana plants and 31 pounds of processed marijuana, the HCSO said, plus one firearm and one high capacity magazine.

At the second parcel, located off of United States Forest Service Route 1, deputies and wardens located nine green houses and multiple outdoor marijuana cultivation gardens. Deputies eradicated a total of 4,721 growing marijuana plants, according to the HCSO.

At the third parcel, also located off of United States Forest Service Route 1, deputies and wardens located five green houses and multiple outdoor marijuana cultivation gardens. Deputies eradicated a total of 4,476 growing marijuana plants, according to the HCSO.

Between the three parcels, the HCSO reported that assisting agencies found the following violations:

  • Multiple water diversion violations (up to $8,000 per day fine)
  • Multiple water pollution violations (up to $20,000 per day fine)
  • Multiple discharge of motor oil into soil violations (up to $25,000 per day fine)
  • Eight discharge of sediment into water violations (up to $20,000 per day fine)
  • Improper disposal of garbage (up to $10,000 per day fine)
  • Improper storage and removal of solid waste (up to $25,000 per day fine)
  • Mismanagement of lead acid batteries (up to $25,000 per day fine)
  • Multiple grading without a permit violations (up to $10,000 per day fine)
  • Multiple building code violations (up to $10,000 per day fine)

No arrests were made during the service of the warrants, authorities said. Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies. The following agencies assisted in the service of the warrants: Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit, California State Water Board, Humboldt County Planning and Building Department and Cal Fire.

Anyone with information about these cases or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the HCSO at 707-445-7251 or the HCSO crime tip line at 707-268-2539.

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