The Butte County Sheriff's Office reported that two people were arrested and more than 3,000 marijuana plants seized during a raid Tuesday of an illegal marijuana growing operation near Jordan Creek in the Plumas National Forest.
The early morning raid was conducted by the Sheriff's Office's Special Enforcement Unit, the U.S. Forest Service and the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force.
Upon entering the marijuana garden, deputies located several thousand marijuana plants being grown by a suspected drug trafficking operation, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.
Two suspects spotted in the camp area fled. One was apprehended by a Forest Service K-9 as the suspect attempted to jump a 20-foot cliff wall but became tangled in brush along the cliff, officials said. The man was identified as Adrian Magana-Figueroa, 26, of Sacramento. Sheriff's officials said a loaded .22 caliber revolver was found at the spot where he was apprehended. They said Magana-Figueroa is a suspected Sureno gang member and a Mexican citizen from Michoacan, Mexico.
Deputies determined that two other individuals had occupied the marijuana garden. A Butte County sheriff's K-9 located and engaged one of the suspects, but the individual was able to escape and is still at large, officials said.
The Forest Service K-9 located the third suspect, who was taken into custody by Forest Service personnel and sheriff's deputies. He was identified as Alfredo Uriel Valencia-Mendoza, 30, of Mexico.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales and being armed in the commission of a felony.
Based on evidence at the scene, sheriff's officials said it appeared the suspects had been recently supplied with food from an outside source. Water for the marijuana plants was being drawn from Jordan Creek using thousands of feet of poly-tubing, they said.
Deputies located 3,173 marijuana plants on terraced hillsides. They reported that several bags of fertilizer and pesticide also littered the garden area.