Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department documented the biggest drug bust in its history on Tuesday and officials expect Mexican cartels are to blame.
Just north of L.A. in Antelope Valley, California, officials tracked down, identified and destroyed 70 to 80 outhouses filled with illegal marijuana plots in the open desert.
The department brought in massive bulldozers to raid the scene, completely leveling the illegal grows – and there are reportedly hundreds more to tackle. One tented location was alone appraised at approximately $50 million worth of product.
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Sheriff Alex Villanueva has since launched an operation with up to 500 deputies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to hunt down and destroy other marijuana plantations.
Villanueva revealed to Fox News that these locations are hot spots for criminal behavior with reports of cartel members threatening residents with firearms. The L.A. plantations also hog water from local alfalfa, carrot, and potato farmers.
“The origins of the sheriff’s department date back to 1850 when this was the Wild West,” the sheriff said. “And we introduced law and order back in those days. Now, come 2021, we’re going to have to redo the same concept. We’re going to reintroduce this law and order and make sure we drive these people out of business and give this community back to the residents.”
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Five men at the scene of the raid were taken into department custody who identified themselves as Mexican nationals who just arrived in the U.S. within the last month.