MADERA COUNTY – Agents with the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET), assisted by Madera County SWAT and Sheriff’s deputies, completed a 12-hour eradication mission in the Bailey Flats region of Madera County late Thursday night, according to Sheriff John Anderson.
On June 6, more than 12-thousand plants were discovered growing on steep terrain located on private land, used specifically for cattle grazing. The value of the grow is estimated at $14,557,200.
Bailey Flats is a former settlement in Madera County, located 10 miles north-northeast of Raymond, at an elevation of 1047 feet.
Sheriff Anderson says Madera County is once again seeing a rise of illegal grow sites sprouting up in the foothills as well as on National Forest land, impacting natural water sources, wildlife and now livestock.
It is believed that the growers of this operation have ties to a drug trafficking organization based in Mexico.
Agents not only eradicated the plants, but also removed mounds of trash including bags and drums of deadly chemicals commonly used by these particular growing operations.
Equally dangerous, says Sheriff Anderson, are the growers.
“They arm themselves to protect their gardens, with no regard for the safety of citizens,” he says.
Anyone who sees any kind of suspicious activity, which includes a sudden increase in vehicle traffic, is urged to call either the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770, or the MADNET tip line at 559-675-7776.
“These people should be considered dangerous,” says Anderson. “Do not confront them.”
He urges the public to report information to authorities immediately.
No arrests were made during Thursday’s operation. The case is still under investigation.