Agents eradicated plants before school opened
About 400 fully budded marijuana plants were removed just after dawn Thursday from a garden growing less than 75 yards from Coarsegold Elementary School. Agents worked quickly to rip out the plants before students arrived at school, Madera County Sheriff John Anderson announced.
A dozen agents — members of the Madera Regional SWAT and MADNET — removed the bushes, which were ready for harvest, after they received word about 7 p.m. Wednesday that a marijuana plant had been found on school grounds, said sheriff spokeswoman Erica Stuart.
MADNET quickly secured a search warrant on the nearby property and spoke with Anderson and Coarsegold Elementary School Principal Bob Rose. Rose was prepared to put his school on lockdown if the mission could not be accomplished before students were scheduled to arrive on campus.
The safety and welfare of the children, faculty, and staff was vital, Stuart said, so agents were not afforded time to gather any information about who lived on that property or if they might be armed...