Narcotics task force eradicates pot gardens

June 11, 2008 12:57:44 PM PDT
The Sonoma County Narcotics Task Force eradicated 34,000 marijuana plants worth nearly $60 million at two sites Tuesday, sheriff's department officials announced today.

Sgt. Chris Bertoli said 27,000 plants were found in the northwest area of Sugarloaf State Park in Kenwood and 7,000 more plants were found on the northwest side of Mount St. Helena.

Those tending the gardens in Sugarloaf State Park accessed them from adjacent private property and task force agents were airlifted to the garden sites because of the rough terrain, Bertoli said.

There was evidence of people living at two campsites in Sugarloaf State Park and those tending the gardens left their morning food on tables and burning candles on a makeshift altar before task force agents arrived, Bertoli said.

There also was a makeshift pit for garbage, which would be left behind at the end of the growing season, Bertoli said. Task force agents observed large amounts of D-Con poison in the area and found dead field mice, squirrels and a red fox, Bertoli said.

A natural spring had been diverted to supply water for irrigation, Bertoli said. The plants that were destroyed in a field ranged between 18 inches and 2 feet in height, he said. The street value of the marijuana is estimated to be $59.5 million, Bertoli said.


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