Multiagency operation uncovers 4,000 marijuana plants

Photos courtesy of Inyo County Sheriff's Dept.

Photos courtesy of Inyo County Sheriff’s Dept.

hogbackgrow (PRESS RELEASE – Carma Roper, Inyo Sheriff PIO) On August 22nd a massive multiagency eradication operation was successfully accomplished above Hogback Creek west of Lone Pine, CA.  Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) and agents from the United States Forest Service have been investigating this particular grow-site and gathering evidence since May, 2013. Approximately 4,000 marijuana plants were removed from the site, as well as 350 pounds of processed marijuana.

One arrest was made during the operation, 23 year old Jose Salvador Garcia-Rodrigiuez from Lake Elsinore, CA.  Early this morning INET and Forest Service Officers conducted a felony traffic stop south of Sage Flat Road on Highway 395 in Olancha; seven more arrests were made all with ties to the Hogback cultivation site.  Those arrests include: 22 year old German Ortiz Guzman from Bakersfield, CA; 34 year old Antonio Suastegui from Bakersfield, CA; 44 year old Lorenzo Perez-Meza from Bakersfield, CA; 49 year old Refugio Guzman from Bakersfield, CA; 25 year old Javier Morales from Homeland,CA; 19 year old Jesus Solis Jr. from Garden Grove, CA; and 41 year old Isaac Duran-Solis from Bakersfield, CA.  All are being held at the Inyo County Jail under the following charges: marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for the purpose of sales, and conspiracy.

Trash left in grow area.Marijuana cultivation causes extreme damage to ecosystems.  As part of the illegal cultivation process, growers are responsible for using miles of plastic tubing and diverting water from natural sources for crop irrigation.  The use of banned herbicides and pesticides is also common practice.  Massive amounts of trash and chemicals were transported from the Hogback cultivation site; the estimated quantity is at minimum 2,000 pounds.   In addition, officers located banned hazardous materials which required the response of a Hazmat professional.

Assisting in the eradication operation were Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bishop Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, as well as all agencies assisting in the eradication operation, want to remind residents and visitors of the dangers that are inherent in marijuana cultivation.  As soon as you become aware that you have come upon a cultivation site, leave immediately.  Do not attempt to engage with the growers.  Once in a safe place, report as much details about the location to law enforcement.

 

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Indy Resident
Indy Resident
9 years ago

Soooo…. Im not allowed to post an editorial in the Register, so, ill just rant here… You have all gotten off the subject of our local agency’s’ big bust’… Lets not forget the schooling, training, resources, and local knowledge that it takes to pull off one of these ‘Big Busts’.… Read more »

Mr. NRA
Mr. NRA
9 years ago

What don’t they call in Friends of the Inyo to clean this crap up. After all they are supposed to be Friends of the Inyo National Forest.

A friend of the Friends of the Inyo National Forest
A friend of the Friends of the Inyo National Forest
9 years ago
Reply to  Mr. NRA

Funny how a individual that proudly represents the NRA can easily try to dis a Group that prides itself with working together and caring for such things that others find it easy to not think about. Two can play this game….. Hey did you know the NRA has their own… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago

Friend of the Friends…..The one and only reason Mr. NRA and some others are so against the Friends of The Inyo is because,if they had their way,every single square mile would be opened to anytype of motorized traffic here in the valley….I’m with you…can’t count the times I’ve gone into… Read more »

Indy Resident
Indy Resident
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Friends of the Inyos are more than the actual group… Theyres a bunch of us that 4WD, Explore, Have fun on our open roads that have been here for a hundred years. Im not gonna lie, Im a miner, and i like the roads that are still open… I have… Read more »

Friends of Green sticker money
Friends of Green sticker money
9 years ago
Reply to  Indy Resident

Sorry, comments are closed. the law is the law! you had your chance to comment a few years ago, but I’m sure you were probably busy at the time. Oh well. Like it or not, closures will continue, and we’ll continue stealing from the Green sticker fund. …But don’t worry,… Read more »

Truth Seeker
Truth Seeker
9 years ago
Reply to  Mr. NRA

The fact that the USFS is allowed to use Green Sticker fees to pay Friends Of the Inyo to close roads, proves that the system is totally broken beyond repair.

Tom O.
Tom O.
9 years ago
Reply to  Truth Seeker

Here’s some truth Mr. Truth Seeker: FOI does more to enhance and rebuild popular trails all over the forest than USFS or you. For some reason the Forest Service[Circus] doesn’t do much of it any more. FOI does it mostly w/ volunteers much more effeciently and timely than USFS. Example;… Read more »

Friends of Green sticker money
Friends of Green sticker money
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom O.

“FOI does it mostly w/ volunteers much more effeciently and timely than USFS.” Yes, they do! And they don’t care who’s toes they step on either. The USFS has given them carte blanche, to do whatever they see fit whenever, and however… The big picture? Friends of Cash is a… Read more »

annonymous
annonymous
9 years ago

meanwhile, in Mammoth, banks are being robbed at gun point
Who cares about pot heads?!?!? Let them smoke their weed!

dean
dean
9 years ago
Reply to  annonymous

There’s a big difference between smoking marijuana and growing 4000 plants on public lands.

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
9 years ago

Mongo is stupid, but not stupid enough to spend all day on a blog.
Mongo go to work now and make America great.

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
9 years ago

If weed were Federally legal wouldn’t it create a BIG American tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical type legislative body? Would the FDA or ATF regulate it? What type of warnings would the TV ads carry; “Warning, this weed may make you feel really good?” Will we be able to buy weed light?… Read more »

Tony Cumia
Tony Cumia
9 years ago

A few yrs ago I came upon a grow area in the Bald Mountain area.I was doing field work and came upon it. I was Immediately confronted by ARMED w/ AK47s hispanics[who spoke no English] Thank God I was able to smile my way out of it.After it was busted… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Tony Cumia

Tony, I’m not sure why you think legalization wouldn’t stop most of this. When booze was legalized again, almost all the bootlegging and killing stopped.

Tony Cumia
Tony Cumia
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

You missed my point, most of these grow operations in national parks and national forests are done by foreign nationals[cartels] that hardly follow US laws.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Tony Cumia

If “weed” was legal, there would be huge hydroponic greenhouses using megawatts of electricity to keep the grow lights on 24/7. They wouldn’t use as much water, they would employ the same people that work in tourism here. It would be a real “Benefit to the Community” because they would… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken….If your serious with your post above,it seems you think “weed” might be the very thing that gets this County,State,Country,and maybe even the World as a whole back on it’s feet….Let’s just look at the Owens Valley….think of the mentioned large hydroponic greenhouses being built….the jobs it would bring to… Read more »

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  Tony Cumia

LEO’s that remove the plants should have re-routed the streams, torn down the dams, cleaned up the spilled fuel, removed the fertilizer, and removed the discarded hoses..

What the hec?

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
9 years ago
Reply to  Tony Cumia

Tony, Is it ok for me to clear that trash, or are these articles that must be left in place so BLM can complete the story?

Tony Cumia
Tony Cumia
9 years ago

I don’t know, why don’t you call them. Stop yapping and get up there and clean it up yourself., I would’ve but I was on a MTB…btw, its not BLM land.

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
9 years ago

Thing is, legal weed don’t make it OK to grow in the forest. Growers use poison to control pests, this kills deer and other mammals. When these mammals die, birds come to feast on the poisonous remains. it’s easy to spot the areas where the irresponsible and illegal farms are,… Read more »

Badfinger
Badfinger
9 years ago

God’s Green Herb actually Cures many illnesses that Big Pharma makes millions from everyday, it’s always bout Money america was built on money 🙂

ferdinand lopez
ferdinand lopez
9 years ago

thats all california needs,legalize a substance that makes them dumber and slower than they already are

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago

Ya Ferinand- maybe they’ll all forget to use capitals and periods at the end of their sentence.

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago

Excuse me while I take more comment space, legalizing hemp, climate change and money out of politics are my strong area’s. Wayne I agree it is to close to home, the fact we have cartels (money driven evils) in our back yard annually! We live, hike, fish, hunt, pine nut… Read more »

SIerraFan
SIerraFan
9 years ago

If you’re looking for legalization then head north to Oregon and leave this great state! Oregonians are smoking it up!

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  SIerraFan

Don’t let the door hit you. The last thing this great state needs is more pot heads.

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
9 years ago

I’m gonna get a lot of crap for this (if it gets past Bennett), but I don’t care…
How many green card holders OR legal citizens were in that bunch ?

johnjcampnfish
johnjcampnfish
9 years ago

Shame on you for such a racist comment. Everybody knows that Gusmans, Morales’, and Soliz’s were here long before any Obriens.
It’s called the Reconquista.

TBone
TBone
9 years ago

What would it matter? These guys were either being paid some pittance, or simply blackmailed into helping. This was a huge operation run by a large organized crime syndicate, and the guys arrested are likely disconnected from the real perps.

But, yea, let’s make this about immigration.

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
9 years ago

You get a “BLACK MARK” for that O’Brien, less than a century ago “your people” lined up at Ellis Island as they flooded America.
PS, just how big are you?
MONGO WANNA NO.

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago

In polite company, Mongo, it is now referred to as a “mark of color”. And if you “wanna no”, I suspect you receive them with distressing frequency and so don’t need any more. On the other hand, if you “wanna know”, the desire to acquire knowledge is to be applauded,… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago

Trouble….If that were to happen,the State would be needing all that extra school tax $$$,piping it back into the system,paying for drug rehabbing in the schools, and then later in life, when those same kids were unable to find or hold jobs for very long,and then becoming a burden to… Read more »

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Uh oh, here we go with some grade A fear mongering, Geez louise wayne, addictions come in many forms, the addiction to $ at top levels seems to do a lot more damage to society. Also that doesn’t just spew in our street’s, look at what the third world countries… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Wayne- it is already happening in two states and just around the corner for us Californians . I don’t smoke anything anymore, but I do not think people should be harassed and arrested for doing what a majority go us adults have done. Including our last 3 Presidents.

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

P.S. Reagan should have.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble….PLEASE tell me your not trying to say that smoking pot is also a way of curing and/or preventing alzheimer’s disease….

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Nope- I just never liked the dude!

dean
dean
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

We don’t know what canabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol, and other organic compounds in marijuana can or cannot do for many disease states because the DEA conveniently decided that the drug has no medical uses without adequate research, thus preventing further research in the US. There is some limited research going on around… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

I pretty much agree with you that young people should not take drugs, smoke or drink. Those things do seem to have a lasting affect on minds that are still forming. And those affects do not appear to be positive from what I see around me. On the other hand,… Read more »

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

It seems the educational system at the college gets those in the system to vote democrat

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark you don’t mean that do you? That is just hilarious! But YES! those that are informed, educated or schooled do tend to vote on a more educated basis, I guess the stats say they vote more to the Left, did you know the a study was done on FoxNews… Read more »

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  JeremiahJoseph

I do mean that. 😉

Just don’t confuse an education with being intelligent and having common sense.

There’s plenty of video documenting un-informed people in both parties. kind of scary really.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Maybe you didn’t pay attention in class. I found it hard work, but got good grades and went on fly for the Navy and later earn a graduate degree. If you pay attention, and have parents who push you to excel, public schools are just fine. Look which ones consistently… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago

Just legalize it and give all the money to our schools. Problem solved.

Larry Liberal
Larry Liberal
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Now, that comment will sure to raise the ire of The Right, Trouble.

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Yep, or just keep it illegal and watch the money go to juvenile halls, jails, and prisons.. not to mention our nations schools are falling way behind compared to other countries. If people don’t believe in logic, they will believe anything.

johnjcampnfish
johnjcampnfish
9 years ago
Reply to  JeremiahJoseph

Huh? Our schools are falling behind because dope is illegal?

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago
Reply to  johnjcampnfish

Maybe if our society put resources towards our kids education, understanding the pre-dispositions and social environments that make people susceptible to addictions and negative behavior, and address those factors in a proactive fashion rather then these reactive approaches. No our schools aren’t failing because dope is illegal, but schools might… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago

Good local bust close to home by our Law Enforcement agencies !!!!!!…And yet ANOTHER reason why it’s a good idea to arm yourself when taking these local hikes and trips off the beaten path…..can’t help but wonder about the local ties to this operation….

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Ask the NSA. They have those answers.

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago

Thanks for picking up the trash and clearing the area, But we can expect this again and again and again, can’t we? I mean there is no end in sight with this approach, This is only my opinion and I don’t care how it looks to any of you, with… Read more »

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago
Reply to  JeremiahJoseph

21 – 27, I’ll take that any day. I feel this is a convo that should take place, not because I want everybody to consume toxins legally, but because we perpetually waste finite resources! At what point does our planet become overwhelmed with obsolete goods, waste and landfills in the… Read more »