Sacto 9-1-1
December 16, 2008
Pot raid nabs drugs, guns $625,000 in cash

From David Richie:

A multiple agency drug task force hit nine suspected indoor marijuana growing operations in rural El Dorado County and Nevada County earlier today, seizing pot, guns, cultivation equipment and about $625,000 in cash.

A total of 10 search warrants and five arrest warrants were served.

About 200 law enforcement officers from the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Forest Service and many other agencies participated in the coordinated raids.

"All the locations were hit around 10 a.m. and everything went smoothly," said Sgt. Bryan Golmitz, spokesman for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.

In a press release, Attorney General Jerry Brown noted that armed guards protected the sites and he called the indoor growing operations "a threat to public safety."

Officers confiscated approximately 2,100 plants, 100 pounds of processed marijuana, about $625,000 in cash along with numerous lights and generators used in the growing operations.

They also found two handguns, three rifles, and five shotguns.

Search warrants were served at six locations in El Dorado County. Those homes were located on Silver Ridge Court, Camino, High Twist Lane, and Grizzly Court, Somerset, Fort Jim Road, Placerville, Mosquito Road, Swansboro, and Spring Valley Road in Pollock Pines.

Three warrants also were served Nevada County but Golmitz did not have those locations.

The raids came after a two-month investigation.

State officials said the investigation started with the discovery of an outdoor marijuana growing operation in Pollock Pines. Agents then determined that the same suspects had recently spent millions of dollars to purchase other properties in El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Mendocino, Sacramento, Alameda, and San Francisco counties.

That land-buying spree had been going on for four years.

Numerous suspects were detained during the raids but officials were still questioning them late Tuesday afternoon and none had been booked yet into local jails.

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