O’NEALS – Agents with the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET) today uncovered a vast illegal marijuana growing operation hidden on 40 acres of private land in the foothills of Eastern Madera County.
Greenhouses – some nearly the size of a football field – dotted the landscape. Each garden contained hundreds of fully budded plants, and a nearby shed was already filled with hundreds more ready for processing.
None of the growers were on the property when agents moved in, says the Sheriff’s Office.
The only sign of life was a frightened young German Shepherd, chained to a tree, and without food or water. The tree offered little to no shade for the dog, who appeared to be in distress.
Animal Control was called to the scene to transport the animal to a shelter in Madera.
Code enforcement says the growers were also using a 2,600 gallon water tank to feed four marijuana gardens.
Two large haulers were used to cart away 502 plants to an undisclosed site for destruction.
Evidence found at the scene suggests the growing operation was being run by a group of Southeast Asians, according to the Sheriff’s Office.