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Cops Bust Pot Grows In Three Mountain Communities

MADERA COUNTY – Last week, Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET) Agents and Madera County Sheriff’s deputies served five search warrants related to illegal marijuana cultivation in Oakhurst, O’Neals and Coarsegold.

Agents seized 579 marijuana plants from a residence on Black Ranch Road; this residence was the focus of a similar investigation in 2014.

Two suspects detained during the search warrant were also involved in a marijuana cultivation case in Chowchilla in 2013.

Agents also seized 393 marijuana plants from a residence on Road 200 in O’Neals. This residence was also the focus of a 2014 investigation. No one was located at the residence during the search.

In another operation, agents seized 12 marijuana plants from a residence on Road 406 in Coarsegold. There was no one on the property at the time of the search, but over 150 marijuana plants had been harvested prior to law enforcement’s arrival.

A warrant served on residence on Picayune Falls Road in Coarsegold yielded 648 marijuana plants,with 204 being grown outdoors and 444 plants indoors. Forty pounds of processed marijuana and a .22 caliber rifle were also confiscated.

Agents seized 527 marijuana plants from an outdoor growing operation at a residence on Comstock Drive in Coarsegold. A search warrant was also served on this location in 2014 where 607 marijuana plants were seized.

These cases do not appear to have a connection with Mexican drug cartels; however all identified suspects are of Southeast Asian descent. At the conclusion of the investigations, MADNET will be seeking charges against the identified suspects.

A total of 2,159 marijuana plants were eradicated during last week’s operations. A normal marijuana plant consumes about five gallons of water per day, according to the Sheriff’s Office, meaning the illegally grown marijuana plants seized last week alone were consuming almost 11,000 gallons of water per day.

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