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Agents Seize Dope-Growing Suspect's Land

September 22, 1988

Federal agents, working with the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, seized a 60-acre property near the Los Padres National Forest on Tuesday in connection with an August marijuana arrest.

The residence, located in Kern County, is valued at about $150,000, according to the U.S. attorney's office, which filed a "civil forfeiture" action before the seizure.

The property is owned by Lynn Osburn, who was arrested Aug. 8 on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of the drug for sale and possession of a machine gun. Each is a felony.

Osburn was arrested by U.S. Forest Service officers after he was seen tending an irrigated, 200-plant marijuana farm in the Los Padres forest in northern Ventura County. It is believed to be one of three that Osburn had cultivated since December, 1986, according to investigators.

Two searches of Osburn's residence produced marijuana, cultivation equipment, opium, an automatic AR-15 rifle and notes from 1986 to 1988 that chronicle his involvement with the marijuana fields, according to Gary Auer, FBI supervisor for Ventura County.

The seized marijuana plants would have had a market value of about $860,000 after this fall's harvesting, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Osburn is to be arraigned in Ventura County Superior Court on Friday. If convicted, he could receive a maximum term of four years and four months in prison.

Unless Osburn regains his land through civil proceedings, it will be sold. The Sheriff's Department is expected to receive most of any profit from the sale, investigators said.

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