150 illegal outdoor marijuana grows in the Antelope Valley
Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the results of the Marijuana Eradication Operation which began on the early hours of Tuesday, June 8, 2021, and lasted 10 days.
The collaborative operation took place in the Antelope Valley and several local, state and federal agencies were involved including: over 400 personnel from multiple Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department units, deputies from the Community Partnerships Bureau, Operation Safe Street and Special Victims Bureau detectives, Lancaster and Palmdale Station deputies, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, California National Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and members from the Kern County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County Sheriff’s Departments.
In 2020, Narcotics Bureau Detectives identified 150 illegal outdoor marijuana grows in the Antelope Valley. In 2021, investigators conducted reconnaissance flights and they identified over 500 illegal cannabis grows.
Violent crime has been linked directly to the grow sites. In July 2020, two murder victims were discovered adjacent to an illegal marijuana grow in the unincorporated area of Lancaster. In March 2021, a murder victim was found buried in the desert near Lake Los Angeles and the suspects wanted in connection with the murder operated an illegal marijuana grow in Lake Los Angeles. Threats by armed individuals against citizens living in close proximity to illegal marijuana grows have occurred on a regular basis and were increasing in frequency.