In a countywide operation targeted at illegal marijuana grows, sheriff’s deputies seized more than 40,000 cannabis plants and “eradicated” 160 grow houses at rural locations, officials said.
The 23 search warrants were part of “Operation Hammer Strike” which the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department began in September.
Raids were conducted in Lucerne Valley, Twentynine Palms, Wonder Valley, Landers, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Hinkley and Victorville, the department said.
Deputies also served a warrant at an address in the city of Rosemead in Los Angeles County.
Previously, during the sixth week of the operation, two grows were raided in Alhambra and Monterey Park which a sheriff’s spokesperson said were connected to grows inside this county.
In the past week, sheriff’s officials said members of the department’s Marijuana Enforcement Team seized 40,369 marijuana plants, 5,114 pounds of processed marijuana, seven guns and more than $118,000 in cash.
Deputies also arrested 38 people, and cited or booked them, on suspicion of illegal cultivation of cannabis and possession of marijuana for sale, authorities said.
The sheriff’s department said “Hammer Strike” will be a “multi-year operation” that tackles the illicit growing of both marijuana and hemp.
Over the past eight weeks, officials said deputies served 183 search warrants and made 238 arrests.
They have seized 186,916 marijuana plants, 38,911 pounds of processed marijuana, 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, 8 grams of methamphetamine, 57 guns and more than $563,000 in “illicit sales proceeds.”
Authorities said deputies had also “taken down” 1,022 greenhouses and two THC-extraction labs.
Commercial cannabis activity is prohibited in unincorporated areas of the county.
Daily Press reporter Martin Estacio may be reached at 760-955-5358 or MEstacio@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_mestacio.