The West El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team, along with the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigations Team, this morning entered the marijuana growing site on public lands north of Stumpy Meadows Lake, east of Georgetown. When investigators entered the garden area, a man dressed in camouflage ran from the garden and attempted to evade officers, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Office news release.
Deputies suffered minor injuries in their attempt to catch the man, who was apprehended. Although a handgun was found in a nearby makeshift camp, no shots were fired, officials said.
The man, identified as Omar Ruiz Talauera (pictured), was booked into El Dorado County Jail on suspicion of resisting an officer, cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. Officials said Talauera was born in Michoacan, Mexico, but indicated that he currently is a transient.
Officials said the marijuana garden (pictured) resulted in extensive damage to the area, with thousands of square feet of timber cleared to accommodate the growing operation. The tops of the tree stumps had been painted green in an apparent attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement aircraft, officials said. They reported that several empty bags of fertilizer and trash were found in and around the garden area, which is directly above the Rubicon River, a tributary of the middle fork of the American River.
Photos courtesy El Dorado County Sheriff's Office