MADERA COUNTY – Well before dawn on Wednesday, July 17, agents descended on a marijuana operation near Fish Creek, several miles above North Fork on Mammoth Pool Road.
Agents with Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET), sworn personnel with Madera County Regional SWAT Team, US Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife and Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) personnel completed a several hour long eradication mission in the Sierra National Forest.
Agents were dropped into the gardens via STABO (Short Tactical Airborne Operation) near Fish Creek, at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, where they then hiked through steep terrain to reach the gardens.
Nearly 10,000 marijuana plants were removed, along with 800 pounds of waste, and roughly 2½ miles of an elaborate drip irrigation system.
The entire crop, if harvested, could have fetched the growers as much as $24 million.
No arrests were made during Wednesday’s mission.
Based on evidence seized in these gardens, agents believe this growing operation has ties to a Mexican drug trafficking organization, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation is ongoing.
Sheriff John Anderson urges the public to continue phoning in tips to the MADNET hotline at 559-675-7776.