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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Friday July 23rd, 2010 :: 06:18 a.m. PDT


Narcotics arrests/marijuana garden eradications


Highway 33 corridor above Ojai

Date: July 22, 2010

Unit Responsible:

Ventura County Narcotics Bureau, West County Street Team

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses City of residence Age

Santos Enceso Fresno 43

Rosalio Mendoza Fresno 47

Jorge Cabrera Fresno 29

Jaime Flores Los Angeles 36

Jorge Talavera Bakersfield 47

Antonio Medina Bakersfield 42

Gustavo Estrella Port Hueneme 27

Enrique Ramos Port Hueneme 43

Jose Hernandez Camarillo 25

Arturo Hernandez Camarillo 20

Juvenile Bakersfield 17


On July 21, 2010, members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau, West County Street Team, completed a two-month investigation into outdoor marijuana gardens along the Highway 33 corridor north of Ojai. Narcotics detectives identified several large gardens through aerial flights, and reports by responsible citizens.

The surveillance of these sites resulted in the arrest of eleven individuals and the seizure of approximately 23,476 marijuana plants, bringing the years’ total to 70,173. Two subjects were armed at the time of their arrest.

The gardens were located anywhere from a few hundred yards to several miles off the roadway, and often near popular hiking and recreation areas. In order to grow these marijuana plants, it is necessary for the growers to undercut the brush and trim back the overhead canopy to allow sufficient sunlight to get to the plants.

The hillsides are terraced to allow for more plants, and as an easier way for the growers to water and fertilize them. Miles of irrigation pipe run from dammed streams or springs to provide water. These gardens wreak havoc on the environment and take years to recover. We have seen old grow sites that are known to be nearly twenty years old that have not fully recovered.

Each garden held at least one campsite. Each campsite typically contains clothing, food, sleeping bags, propane stoves, fuel, and miscellaneous chemical fertilizers and poisons that are often illegal in this country. The use of these chemicals and destruction to the environment cause immeasurable damage to the deer, bear, rabbits, and other small animals in these areas.

The Sheriff’s Department warns those planning on visiting the Los Padres National Forest to be watchful for these illegal marijuana gardens. If you find yourself in a garden, quietly and quickly back out and call law enforcement as soon as possible. Growers are often armed and are protective of their gardens.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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