Nearly 10,000 pot plants were seized in the Sierra National Forest on Wednesday as authorities said the illegal marijuana-growing season in Madera County’s forest continues to expand.
Agents from the Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MADNET), Madera County SWAT, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) teamed up in the raid.
Agents dropped into the Fish Creek area — about 15 miles northwest of North Fork — by helicopter well before the morning sunrise, and trekked through miles of forest land to locate the illegal operation, seize the plants, and discard more than 800 pounds of waste left by the growers.
“The entire crop, if harvested, could have fetched the growers as much as $24 million,” said Erica Stuart, spokeswoman for the Madera County Sheriff’s Department...