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Authorities Remove $22M in Marijuana from Angeles National Forest

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Thursday, a team of authorities from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics and Aero Bureaus, in a joint operation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Forest Service removed 11,249 marijuana plants growing in the Angeles National Forest in the Knapp Ranch and Fish Canyon sections. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $22 million.

The plants were growing illicitly on public lands. Since May of this year, "detectives have eradicated a total of 96,441 illicit marijuana plants from public lands, with an estimated street value of over $192 million dollars," according to the Narcotics Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

During the July 1 eradication operation, the team performed several other actions with a mind for public safety, including the removal of "1,560 pounds of trash, consisting of hazardous chemical fertilizers, pesticides, food, propane tanks, and camping equipment from the forest."

In conjunction with the marijuana-growing operation, the authorities repaired the damage caused to three streams, and "removed extensive irrigation systems which suspects used to divert water away from native plants and animals to irrigate the illicit crops."

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The Sheriff's Department pledges to continue to aggressively investigate and eradicate illicit crops, such as these, that are grown on public lands.