News Story


Sheriff's Investigators Eradicate over 10,000 Marijuana Plants in Los Padres National Forest
9/13/2013 2:00:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Marijuana Eradications

Report Number:



Los Padres National Forest

Date & Time:

August 27, 2013 and September 10, 2013

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Sheriff's Narcotics Bureau and Sheriff's Air Unit

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence






In a two week period, the Sheriff's Narcotic Unit and Mountain Marijuana Eradication Team eradicated 2 large marijuana cultivations in the Los Padres National Forest.


The Ortega Trail Garden was located during an aerial reconnaissance mission by the Sheriff's Air Unit. Investigators were assisted by the Sheriff's Air Unit, a Ventura County Fire Department hand crew, and the California Department of Justice, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting.  The first marijuana cultivation contained over 9000 marijuana plants, which were eradicated from at least 5 plots north and south of the Ortega Trail.  The Ortega Trail is a popular hiking and motorcycle trail. The marijuana plants were up to 8 feet tall and heavily budded. Due to the size and quantity of the marijuana plants, a full size stake bed was required to transport the seized drugs for destruction.


The second marijuana cultivation site was located on the southern slope of Pine Mountain. Deer hunters came upon the marijuana plants and notified law enforcement. The site contained approximately 1500 marijuana plants that had been cut and were drying. Investigators located a processing area containing approximately 500 pounds of bud. Near the grower's campsite, detectives located the corpse of a young black bear. Detectives believe the bear was killed illegally by marijuana growers.


The combined seizure of these two illegal marijuana cultivations was over 3 tons.


The Ventura County Sheriff's Office would like to warn those using the back country to be attentive to signs of illegal marijuana cultivations; irrigation pipes, bags of fertilizer and people who appear to be unequipped for hiking in remote areas. These clues are possible indications that you may be near a marijuana cultivation. If you come across these or similar circumstances, leave the area immediately and contact law enforcement.



Prepared by:

Sergeant Mike Horne


Media Release Date:



Follow-Up Contact:

Captain Don Aguilar



Approved by:

Commander Brent Kerr



Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).