News Story


Sheriff?s 2011 Marijuana Eradication Totals
10/17/2011 7:00:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

Sheriff's 2011 Marijuana Eradication Totals


County of Ventura ' Los Padres National Forest

Date & Time:

October 13, 2011

Unit Responsible:

Sheriff's Narcotics

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses (D)ecedent

City of Residence







The 2011 marijuana eradication season has come to an end with a record size garden, record tally of plants and a significant number of arrests.  On July 13th, 2011, over 40 personnel from the Sheriff's Air Unit, Narcotics Bureau, Intelligence Unit, Oxnard Police Department, and Ventura County Fire Department, harvested a record 68,488 plants from the Pine Mountain area near the Ozena Fire Station.  This was the single largest marijuana cultivation in Ventura County history.


On October 4th, U.S. Forest Service Special Agent Grand Ealy notified Sheriff's Narcotics that the Ventura County Sheriff's Office led the Southern Zone in total arrests with 22 subjects in custody.  The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) computes the arrest and eradication numbers for the 2011 marijuana season occurring in National Forests in the State of California.  For tracking purposes, the USFS divides the state into the Northern and Southern Zones.  The dividing line is roughly the northern boundaries of Monterey and Fresno Counties, through Mono County, and all counties south of this line; the Southern Zone accounts for 17 counties in all. 


More than a third of these arrests occurred during the month of September 2011, when narcotics detectives eradicated seven marijuana grows in the Los Padres National Forest.  There were a total of 21,862 plants eradicated, 16 pounds of processed marijuana was seized, and eight persons were arrested.  Over the course of the season, detectives eradicated over 153,000 marijuana plants from the Los Padres National Forest, an increase of 27,000 plants over last year's record haul.  In all, 22 suspects were arrested for cultivation of marijuana.  These suspects were from as close by as Ventura, and as far away as Visalia to the north, and Riverside County to the south.


Also, the discovery of increased numbers of marijuana gardens in our National Forests over the last few years has brought to the forefront another dangerous aspect of outdoor marijuana cultivation, i.e., the non-regulated use of poisons and the environmental damage associated with it.  In practically every marijuana garden eradicated by narcotics detectives, large stores of agricultural related chemicals were found.  The unregulated use of commercial fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides used by marijuana growers has severely impacted not only the environment near the grow site, but the environment and much of the habitat further down stream.


In several grow locations this year, narcotic detectives found illegal poisons that were manufactured outside the United States which have been banned in our country.  Additionally, detectives received reports from other county narcotic task forces that point to the discovery of some of these banned poisons found in undiluted states.  Exposure to these banned poisons, absent any safety precautions, could have perilous affects similar to that of nerve gas on humans.


The above information is a reminder to those using the Ventura County backcountry to be on the lookout for marijuana growers and grow sites.  As always, if suspicious activity is found, please notify law enforcement as soon as possible.

Picture on the Ventura County Sheriff's Office- Official Facebook page.




Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Captain Derek West

Media Release Date:

October 13, 2011

Follow-Up Contact:

Captain Derek West

Approved by:

Captain Mike Aranda