Police in Santa Barbara County, California raided a massive illegal cannabis cultivation site last week, with deputies finding so many illicit plants the enforcement operation took four days to complete. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said on Saturday that 350,000 cannabis plants had been destroyed and 20 tons of processed cannabis had been seized from the site.

A two-month investigation into the cultivation operation culminated on June 17 with search warrants being served in northern Santa Barbara County near Buellton and two other sites, one in Santa Maria and another in neighboring San Luis Obispo County, according to Kelley Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

“The cultivation area itself was located on a property of approximately 187 acres of agricultural land, with just over 60 acres of it being used for the commercial cultivation of cannabis,” Hoover said. “From the initial investigation, it appeared the site was used to continually cultivate cannabis throughout the year, and at the time of the search, approximately 40 acres was presently growing, with a large amount having been recently harvested.”

Multiple Agencies Participate in Raid

Deputies from the sheriff’s office, including members of its Cannabis Compliance Team, were assisted in the eradication operation by the county District Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Army National Guard Counter Drug Task Force. In all, 35 detectives, investigators, and wildlife officers took part in the raid, Hoover said.


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