New dangers law enforcement face with illegal marijuana grows


The hot temperatures continue to beat down on the valley, while up in the foothills law enforcement are kept busy eradicating marijuana grows.

From March through October, members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Marijuana Eradication Team are destroying the illegal crop in the the foothills.

It’s dangerous work, not just because of the bad guys with guns, who are protecting the fields, but also the hazardous chemicals used on the crops.

These chemicals used by the cartels pose a threat not just to law enforcement but also the environment.

Within minutes of clearing the grow, deputies found cans of Carbofuran, which is one of the most toxic banned insecticides around.

The bottle was likely smuggled in from Mexico, because it’s use in the state is banned.

If any gets on your skin, deputies say it can quickly get into your bloodstream and attack your body’s nerve system.

The Sargent in charge of the unit says, “It’s supposed to be used in diluted form but they actually take a paint brush and put it on the stems of the plant, that concentration kills rodents, everything.”

Deputies say such drug growing sites, are often accompanied with the smell of death.

“We’ve seen dead deer everything within 100 meters. Just see dead stuff,” says deputies.

Another deadly chemical cartels are bringing in is Aluminum Phosphite, when mixed with water creates a poisonous deadly gas.

The DEA says California now produces more marijuana than Mexico, and that the state is serving as an illegal growing lab for consumption from buyers mostly outside of California.

These grow sites are contaminating and diverting millions of gallons of water, leaving trash heaps at hundreds of locations and endangering the public using the forests.

Deputies say, “This creek delivers water into Sycamore Creek, which of course delivers water to Pine Flat. So all this stuff is running off into the creek, totally uncontrolled. So we are potentially drinking this stuff.”

Thankfully, Fresno County is getting help from members of the California National Guard at no charge.

The National Guard also donates time for deputies to search for these illegal crops in national guard planes.

Bottom-line, the only way we are going to rid the foothills and the valley of these illegal marijuana grows is through community support.
Deputies want to public to know if they see something, report it.

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