Whiskeytown, California - Law enforcement rangers from the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management and Wardens from California Department of Fish and Wildlife located and destroyed two large marijuana cultivation sites within Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. The first raid took place in the Crystal Creek drainage where two men were found sleeping in their barbed wire protected "camp." Some 7,680 plants were removed and over 3,000 pounds of garbage was flown out utilizing a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter.
The second raid occurred the same week, in the Whiskey Creek drainage. The Whiskey Creek cultivation site had 4,641 plants and the National Guard helicopter flew out over 4,200 pounds of marijuana. Over 1,200 pounds of garbage were removed from the Whiskey Creek cultivation site. Rangers arrested three men at the cultivation site as they were processing marijuana. The seized marijuana was destroyed by the National Park Service on the same day it was confiscated.
As in years past, both illegal cultivation sites were associated with cartel organizations. The marijuana sites are located in remote back-country locations with the intent of harvesting, distributing and selling the finished product throughout California and the rest of the United States. Each of the cultivation sites are checked by law enforcement for illegal pesticides and fertilizers commonly found at cultivation sites. "This is potentially highly contaminated marijuana that is distributed and sold on the black market across America," stated Superintendent Jim Milestone. "The public should be aware that pollution from these illegal marijuana cultivation sites has a huge impact on the park's wildlife and water quality in our park's streams, as researchers from U.C. Davis are discovering," Milestone added.
Since 2001, the National Park Service at Whiskeytown has been orchestrating raids on drug trafficking organizations' illegal cultivation sites. Each year the park destroys marijuana worth millions of dollars, but new cultivation sites continue to be found.