August 24, 2019
Perris marijuana cultivation raids updated, growers jailed
PERRIS – (INT) – As marijuana dispensaries sprout up across the city, this growing community may be gaining a reputation as the pot capital of western Riverside County.

Authorities announced Thursday one of the largest series of raids on marijuana cultivations.

In a daylong of tweets, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to citizen inquiries and disclosed that many of the search warrants and eradication efforts were in Perris and the Good Hope area just west of the city.

By Thursday evening, authorities had served search warrants at 56 locations and arrested 49 people.

Evidence:
47,939 marijuana plants confiscated
2,132 pounds of processed marijuana
47 tons of marijuana plants disposed
2 Butane Honey Oil Labs located
71 firearms
In spite of heavy police activity, the sheriff’s department said there was no threat to public safety.

Individuals growing marijuana under Proposition 64 guidelines did not have their marijuana confiscated. Additionally, licensed businesses with permits to grow marijuana legally for commercial purposes were not affected.

Social media showed complaints that authorities should be using their time and efforts on other community issues.

"So what did we find at these illegal marijuana grows? - Dogs and guns. The dogs are ok," the Sheriff's Department said in a tweet, which included photos of deputies petting one of the animals.

Other images showed some of the seized firearms, including high-powered rifles, handguns and a shotgun.

It is the second large-scale illegal marijuana grow operation that the Riverside County sheriff's department has waged in the span of two months. An earlier series of raids was concentrated in the Anza area.

Deputies loaded the illegal marijuana crops into dumpsters for disposal.

The department said the crops tend to be environmental hazards since the growers use chemicals and pesticides that are not allowed under law. Sheriff's officials said they're also concerned with the crime that surrounds these types of operations.

"We have had homicides that are associated with these illegal grows. We also have robberies. People that have these grows, because they're illegal, they'll arm themselves," said Sgt. Albert Martinez.
Story Date: July 23, 2019
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