Narcotic agents chop down more than 2,000 plants
In a rural section of Madera County known as Trigo, near Avenue 11 and Road 32, narcotic agents Thursday morning chopped down more than 2,000 marijuana plants that had been irrigated with waste water, officials said.
Seven agents with Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET), assisted by nine Madera County Sheriff’s Deputies and Sheriff John Anderson, along with two agents from Madera County Code Enforcement searched a plywood shack built on more than two acres of land, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart.
The team had to maneuver through 42 rows filled with marijuana plants and other vegetation that stretched more than the size of a football field. In some areas of the garden, a pungent odor of raw sewage hung in the air, Stuart said. The growers, who were not there when agents arrived at the field, were using waste water to feed not just the marijuana plants but an entire orchard of table vegetables, Stuart said.
In some areas, where the water was not able to permeate into the soil, agents trekked through stagnant pools of contaminated water. Code enforcement officials said in cases like this there is always concern that the pools could eventually leach out and contaminate neighboring water surfaces, Stuart said...