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Raid on Pot Farm Nets 760 Mature Plants

September 07, 2003|Holly J. Wolcott | Times Staff Writer

A Thousand Oaks marijuana farm containing 760 mature plants was raided by Ventura County sheriff's deputies, authorities said Saturday.

It was the second time deputies had uncovered a major marijuana-growing operation in the county since the start of the harvest season last month. An August raid in a county portion of the Santa Monica Mountains netted 3,800 pot plants.

"It's been a good season for marijuana eradication," said Sheriff's Capt. Chris Lathrop.

This season's seizures have been unusual, Lathrop noted, because a majority of the marijuana farms found in Ventura County have been located in the Los Padres National Forest surrounding Ojai. In the most recent raid, deputies found the plants -- ranging in height from 4 to 10 feet -- in a ravine near the 1900 block of Rancho Conejo Boulevard in west Thousand Oaks, near Newbury Park.

The ravine starts near the boulevard and runs down into the Hill Canyon area. At the farm, five deputies found a tent, sleeping bags, a propane stove and a large amount of food.

No suspects have been located, but deputies said evidence suggested that several growers had been living at the site to care for the plants.

The value of the plants was estimated by deputies at more than $2 million.

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