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County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
#32306 07/22/13 12:55 PM
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Here's a link to a story about cleaning out illegal pot farms in Los Padres National Forest.

Interesting, the raid was done by the county sheriff and not the Forest Service or other federal agency.

Also disturbing from the article (I made the bold italics):

"Along with 960 pounds of processed marijuana, deputies seized irrigation tubing, fertilizers, various poisons, propane canisters, a ballistic vest and ammunition for a .45-caliber handgun, according to the sheriff's office.

More than 3,000 pounds of trash associated with the grow sites were removed from the national forest, the sheriff's office said."

Glad to see the county found some money in the budget to take care of this site. Unfortunately, these types of pot farms are all over. This raid is just a drop in the bucket, so to speak.

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
wazzu #32319 07/23/13 10:49 AM
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it's a question of who has the resources.

the USFS did have a hand in the raid: USFS

w/o a helicopter - thank you, forest service - they'd still be hauling out the detritus.

our ventura county sheriff also recently conducted a raid: sheriff's raid

our local fs doesn't have a helicopter - but the county of ventura has several.

these raids come under the state of california's campaign against marijuana planting (CAMP), of which the county of monterey marijuana eradication team (COMMET) is a participant.

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
wazzu #32320 07/23/13 12:00 PM
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There are pot farms here in the Sierra National Forest.

If you happen to come upon a "site" use extreme caution...there could be booby traps aka IEDs...

Do not touch anything! That could be evidence! Simple law of combat is: "If it don't belong to you, don't pick it up."

Also you may come across heavily armed banditos who "shoot first to eliminate the questions." So if you see armed individuals from a safe distance, DO NOT APPROACH! Get the hell out of there as quickly and as quietly as you can.

Report any findings to your local law enforcment noting date, time, location (GPS coordinates if you can), photos (digital camera or cellphone), what you saw at the site, etc. Be as detailed as you can when reporting your findings.

Also, when exiting the area, take note of any vehicles in the area...write down make and mode, license plate numbers from a safe distance if possible. This will assist the authorities if the vehicle(s) in question are connected to the crime scene. Do not approach the vehicle because of possible armed and dangerous suspects asleep in the vehicle.


Journey well...
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
wazzu #32327 07/23/13 05:36 PM
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In California, as in the rest of the nation, a County Sheriff (the elected official) is responsible for law enforcement within their County. This is true regardless of whether the crime or other threat to life or safety occurs within a National Forest or Park.

FYI: Here is the official list of Sheriff responsibilities in California: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/GOV/1/3/d2/3/2/1

This is why SAR operations, for instance, are the ultimate responsibility of the local County Sheriff's department(California Codes 26614-26615), regardless of whether the incident occurs with SEKI, Yosemite, or a National Forest. The Sheriff may, however, delegate the SAR OP to any other agency, but remains the reporting agency.

Dope farm cleanups are usually conducted by the local Sheriff...although the Sheriff may call upon other agencies for assistance. For example, several years ago an Army special forces unit, with their helicopter, was stationed at Bishop airport, for the purpose of searching for m.j. plantations. Any arrests made in the conduct of those operations were always done by the Sheriff's Department.

Last edited by Bob West; 07/23/13 05:52 PM.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32329 07/23/13 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bob West
...
Dope farm cleanups are usually conducted by the local Sheriff...although the Sheriff may call upon other agencies for assistance. For example, several years ago an Army special forces unit, with their helicopter, was stationed at Bishop airport, for the purpose of searching for m.j. plantations. Any arrests made in the conduct of those operations were always done by the Sheriff's Department.

Bringing in the United States Military to assist county law enforcement raises some serious legal questions. Asking for DEA or ATF assistance is one thing, deploying Green Beret Special Forces to deal with pot growers is quite another matter. Are you sure you got that story right, Bob?

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
SierraNevada #32337 07/24/13 09:18 AM
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Yes; and I wasn't smoking dope or imagining things. I didn't say they were Green Berets. I was on Inyo SAR at the time (1980's), and the special ops troops used our headquarters building at Bishop airport as living quarters while they were here, so that curious locals in town would not be asking unwelcome questions of them. It appeared to be a clandestine operation.

They used an unmarked, black helicopter, with special sensor equipment, and wore unmarked uniforms. We were asked not to speak with them or spread the word around town. Local law enforcement informed us they were military troops engaged in special training, assisting law enforcement (INET - Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Taskforce) in searches for dope plantations. We assumed they were army (short haircuts...), but they could have been from another branch of the military. Some of their ops resulted in arrests.

If you are really concerned about the military assisting law enforcement, you may be on the other side of the political fence from me. (LOL) The DEA, ATF or military are all federal agencies. Is it just military to which you object?

Last edited by Bob West; 07/24/13 02:30 PM.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32340 07/24/13 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bob West
LOL. DEA, ATF or military are all federal agencies.

What department is the LOL agency in? wink

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32342 07/24/13 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bob West
...
DEA, ATF or military are all federal agencies. Is it just military to which you object?


There are still attitudes and some artifacts in US law and the Constitution, left over from resentment to the behavior of locally quartered troops in the late 1700's.

Dale B. Dalrymple

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Steve C #32344 07/24/13 02:30 PM
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What department is the LOL agency in? There was actually a "." after LOL, but I appreciate your jest!

DEA, AFT, military, IRS, or perhaps the EPA? Take your pick.


Last edited by Bob West; 07/24/13 02:36 PM.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32350 07/24/13 07:01 PM
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Bob's right. USFS doesn't have the resources to get rid of dope growers. It's the local sheriff in conjunction with whatever LE the USFS has (usually only one or two per forest). There's assorted agreements that DEA and Border Patrol can be brought in as logistical support to clean these areas up. As an investigator once remarked "large areas of US federal lands have been taken over by foreign nationals." It's absolutely correct.

I have nothing against the use of MJ by adults in social situations. But the true cost of, say, medical marijuana is not part of the equation. These growers take over federal lands, make it dangerous for recreational hikers, spread all manner of truly toxic rodenticides and fertilizers; poach bear and anything that moves; leave miles of irrigation tubing; piles of garbage to say nothing of the danger to law enforcement who try to get rid of this stuff.. . All of it supported by trying to present it as a benign and harmless use of dope by medical marijuana and recreational users.

Even the quasi-legal growers in Humboldt dump all manner of pesticides and rodenticides on the environment because they have to stay competitive. (and, really, because they're no different than any other greedy and unregulated market...).

Which is all to say it's not just harmless stoned out MJ users. This stuff has a real effect on our public lands, wildlife and society that has to be realistically looked at.

g.


None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32389 07/25/13 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bob West
Yes; and I wasn't smoking dope or imagining things. I didn't say they were Green Berets. I was on Inyo SAR at the time (1980's), and the special ops troops used our headquarters building at Bishop airport as living quarters while they were here, so that curious locals in town would not be asking unwelcome questions of them. It appeared to be a clandestine operation.

They used an unmarked, black helicopter, with special sensor equipment, and wore unmarked uniforms. We were asked not to speak with them or spread the word around town. Local law enforcement informed us they were military troops engaged in special training, assisting law enforcement (INET - Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Taskforce) in searches for dope plantations. We assumed they were army (short haircuts...), but they could have been from another branch of the military. Some of their ops resulted in arrests.

If you are really concerned about the military assisting law enforcement, you may be on the other side of the political fence from me. (LOL) The DEA, ATF or military are all federal agencies. Is it just military to which you object?

Bob, did it ever occur to you why you were kept in the dark about this operation. There's no "political side of the fence" about this, it would be illegal for the US military to participate in domestic law enforcement, whether they are Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy Seals, Marines, Air Force etc. The US military can not and should not be used against the US population for law enforcement or anything less than a declared civil war. National Guard is the gray area, technically under the control of states.

It's not a matter of "objecting" to the military, its a matter of respecting our constitution.

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
George #32391 07/25/13 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: George
Bob's right. USFS doesn't have the resources to get rid of dope growers.

If the problem is so bad, then tax the population and obtain the resources to solve the problem for the common good. Put up or shut up. And I don't mean you George, or Bob, or anyone in particular, it's a common theme - watching our infrastructure crumble and deficits build while the ultra rich enjoy the lowest tax rate since the Great Gatsby days. OK, if I was that rich I admit it, I'd enjoy this system too.

Last edited by SierraNevada; 07/25/13 09:24 PM.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
SierraNevada #32397 07/26/13 06:31 AM
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Ok, you asked for it. Here are just a few articles regarding recent military operations that assisted marijuana interdiction operations by local law enforcement. Notice that they included Army, Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard units, and some of them up in your NORCAL area. Any such operations are done with the approval of the President of the U.S., who is authorized by law to make such exceptions to Posse Comintatus. Federal troops have been used in the past to assist local law enforcement agencies to deal with riots, such the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Military units also assist the U.S. Border Patrol with their work on the Mexican border.

So, whether you personally like it or not, it is allowed by law.

http://www.coloradoan.com/article/201212...marijuana-busts

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/17/guardsmen-assist-in-marijuana-bust.html

http://www.areawidenews.com/story/1760503.html

http://www.csmonitor.com/1990/0827/adope.html/(page)/3

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/10/us/mil...=all&src=pm

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/07/16/coast-guard-navy-interdict-marijuana-shipment.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmIi7fzc98k

The official policy:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/call/call_91-4_iv.htm

Even the USAF gets into action sometimes by accident:

http://www.military.com/video/forces/air.../1458937445001/

So, would you like a little more, or is that enough to convince you?


Last edited by Bob West; 07/26/13 08:52 AM.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32404 07/26/13 12:16 PM
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Marines do it by "locating, closing with, and destroying" without detection...

In other words, we "Git'r Done."

grin


Journey well...
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
+ @ti2d #32409 07/26/13 01:11 PM
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Semper Fi!

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32419 07/26/13 08:28 PM
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These examples are all National Guard troops, which as I said, is a grey area because they are technically under state control. The actual US military examples are all outside the United States dealing with smuggling on open seas or planes smuggling drugs into the country. That's a federal operation not domestic law enforcement.

There's only one of your examples that vaguely references the use of Army troops in Humboldt County in 1990. The title of the article says a lot, "Military Takes Part in Drug Sweep And Reaps Criticism and a Lawsuit." From Wikipedia: Though the operation was scheduled to continue until August 10th all operations ceased on August 5, most likely due to the escalating demonstrations.

So no, you have not made a case that US military troops are involved in domestic law enforcement, and especially not Army Special Forces as you wrote. You described that as a clandestine operation, no wonder.

I think the vast majority of Americans don't want combat troops performing domestic law enforcement. You can like the military without wanting martial law. The current trend in public opinion in state after state is to legalize marijuana, not bring in the military. Grow it legally, tax it, and treat it like alcohol, what a concept. If it doesn't work, we can always go back to what ain't working now.

Last edited by SierraNevada; 07/26/13 10:02 PM.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
+ @ti2d #32423 07/26/13 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: + @ti2d
Marines do it by "locating, closing with, and destroying" without detection...

In other words, we "Git'r Done."

grin

There's not one example cited of Marines involved in marijuana eradication, and that's a good thing - it would have to go on forever. There's no end game and there are not enough Marines to cover all the forests. Secondly, it ain't gettin' done. Illegal cultivation in the areas we like to hike in is spreading out of control despite all these National Guard troops and billions of dollars spent over decades. It's been a failure and there's no indication it will ever work.

Let's wait and see how legalized growing works in Colorado and Washington before bringing Marines into our forests. Will it reduce the incentive to grow illegally in our forests? Perhaps. We can always go back to what ain't working now.

Last edited by SierraNevada; 07/26/13 10:16 PM.
Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
SierraNevada #32429 07/26/13 10:45 PM
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> what a concept. If it doesn't work, we can always go back to what ain't working now.

Made me laugh. +1 like!

I, for one, object to local governments wasting all their time chasing down the producers instead of working out the details to regulate and tax the stuff. The more available they make it, the less crime will be involved.

I've an associate at work whose daughter is employed in the medical MJ field. She was working in San Diego, and has moved, along with several others in the same field, to Washington D.C., to start up a business there. Apparently the D.C. council has passed laws permitting the medical outlets.

They are extremely careful how they grow the stuff: Only 90 plants, or they could be arrested on a felony. Apparently the feds won't touch the misdemeanor setups. They document things out the ears -- one report was 400 pages!

And they have something like 20 varieties, each known for specific characteristics: one for sleep, one to help with appetite especially for chemo patients, others for pain, etc, etc. Who knew?!! It's come a long way from the stuff I knew about back in the 70s!

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Steve C #32434 07/27/13 07:28 AM
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This country is slowing becoming American the Stoned. Would legal cultivation and sale of marijuana reduce the consumption? Probably not; not any more than with alcohol. But it could give the Mexican cartels a more open field of operation - and wouldn't that paint an ugly picture in North America?

Are there any countries where commercial, non-medical cultivation of weed is legal? If so, I wonder what the results have been in those societies.

I think I understand the reasons a lot of people are so eager to want to see cannabis use legalized across the board: folks just want to get wasted and have fun. Which leads one to a question that has not been adequately addressed outside of AA, psychology or religion.

Why to people want to get stoned on drugs (legal or otherwise) and/or alcohol? What could be the underlying psycho/spiritual reasons? Perhaps AA or organized religion can answer those questions. I can come up with answers, but probably not answers that would be taken seriously by a lot of folks, including, apparently, some contributors to this web forum.

Re: County Sheriff cleans up National Forest
Bob West #32436 07/27/13 08:17 AM
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Has the percentage of people with drug additions really changed much over our history? Probably not very much. In the past they put narcotics in elixirs potions and alcohol has been around forever. In poor countries they sniff glue or whatever. What's changed is the impact those people have on the rest of us depending on how we decide to deal with the problem. Prohibition has massive unintended consequences that lead to things like outrageous profit incentives, stealing from you and me to pay for those profits, paying for additional law enforcement, diverting law enforcement resources from other crime, poisoned bootleg alcohol, complete disrespect for law, and growing on government property so their land won't be confiscated.

Ending prohibition "worked" in the sense that we deal with alcohol about as good as we can. It's a chronic problem, always has been, always will be.

Last edited by SierraNevada; 07/27/13 08:18 AM.
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