32,000 pot plants eradicated in Monterey

July 16, 2008 6:52:55 AM PDT
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit eradicated a garden Monday morning in unincorporated Monterey County that held approximately 32,000 marijuana plants, according to the sheriff's office.

A police helicopter initially spotted the garden, and authorities started hiking at about 5 a.m. into Santa Lucia Preserve, off of Robinson Canyon Road and Carmel Valley Road, to find it.

The garden, which was located deep in the reserve near Garza Creek, held marijuana plants that would have had an estimated street value of $128 million if allowed to grow to maturity.

"This was the biggest (bust) of the year," Sgt. Daniel Karamitis said.

The County of Monterey Marijuana Eradication Team, comprised of members of the sheriff's office, led the raid. The Salinas Police Department and California Department of Justice also assisted in the search.

No suspects were present when police arrived, but Karamitis said evidence was taken from the garden for further investigation.

Anyone wishing to provide additional information on this case is urged to call the Marijuana Eradication Team at (831) 755-3722.


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