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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

Raid Destroys 8th Pot Plantation in 5 Weeks

September 27, 2000

OJAI — Faced with a bumper crop of marijuana, a team of Ventura County narcotics officers swept into a remote mountainside canyon Tuesday and seized 1,179 pot plants during an early morning raid.

It was the eighth pot plantation destroyed by authorities in five weeks, and brings to 16,000 the number of marijuana plants cut down this season.

Those plants would be worth as much as $70 million on the street and, if not uprooted, would make marijuana one of the county's top cash crops, along with oranges and celery, officials said.

Ventura County Sheriff Bob Brooks said there is no way to know how many clandestine pot farms are operating in the rugged wilderness that covers much of the county.

"We have 100% of the known," Brooks said. "The chances that we have it all are slim."

But he said helicopter crews are scanning the brush-covered hills of the Los Padres National Forest on an almost daily basis, hoping to cripple pot production.

The pot farm raided Tuesday morning was about three miles from Reyes Creek Campground, 40 miles north of Ojai. It was discovered last week by a low-flying helicopter crew.

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