The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) revealed on Thursday that during the week of August 26, officers served a total of seven search warrants at cannabis grows in Trinity County and conducted a trespass grow investigation in Shasta County.
CDFW was assisted by the National Guard, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, and other local agencies during the week’s raids.
According to CDFW, a records search revealed that neither state licenses nor county permits had been issued for any of the targeted properties and that none of them had a Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement.
The focus of the operations was the protection of sensitive wildlife habitats crucial to the survival of multiple animal species that are native to California including the winter-run Chinook and coho salmon, the foothill yellow-legged frog, the western pond turtle, and the steelhead, cutthroat, and rainbow trout.
“Our cannabis enforcement program in Redding continues to focus on critical habitat found in Trinity County where many important, threatened or endangered species call home,” said CDFW Law Enforcement Division Deputy Director and Chief David Bess. “Each of the targeted grows had numerous environmental violations ranging from water diversion to habitat destruction and in some cases extreme pollution near waterways.”
During the week’s operations, 16 Fish and Game Code violations were found, 33,783 cannabis plants were eradicated, 3,000 pounds of processed cannabis were seized, and 27 suspects were contacted.
Wildlife officers also arrested two suspects at a trespass grow near Ono in Shasta County where 1,163 cannabis plants were eradicated and six environmental violations were documented.
Felony charges are pending at District Attorneys Offices in both Shasta and Trinity Counties.