MADERA COUNTY – Nearly 23,000 marijuana plants have been destroyed and two growers are behind bars after a nearly two-hour foot pursuit through extremely rugged and steep terrain in the foothills of Eastern Madera County.
Just before dawn on Thursday, May 8, agents moved in on a marijuana garden on private land located above Raymond.
The two men tending the garden, Jose Ignacia Cardenas, 23 and his brother Jorge Alejandro Cardenas, 36, both from Mexico, fled as agents approached the grow.
Two K9 tracking agents with California Fish & Wildlife/Marijuana Enforcement Team, were able to apprehend the pair after a long chase through dense brush and poison oak, while dodging rattlesnakes across more than a quarter-mile of steep terrain. It took the agents nearly two hours to apprehend the suspects.
The pair was operating what agents describe as an extremely large marijuana garden, complete with an elaborate drip system.
The plants were transported to an undisclosed location, while the two suspects were booked into Madera County Department of Corrections on felony drug charges, with bail set at half-a-million dollars each.
California Fish & Wildlife/Marijuana Enforcement Team and SWAT personnel assisted MADNET (Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team) in today’s eradication mission.