Sheriff: Grow sites tied to drug trafficking group
Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team agents flying over eradicated marijuana growing operations found a new cultivation site south of Yosemite National Park and removed nearly 5,000 plants.
The find led MADNET, U.S. Forest Service agents and Madera County Sheriff’s deputies to the Slide Creek and Soda Springs area above North Fork on Tuesday. The remote region is about 11 miles south of the national park.
Both areas have long been a favorite for drug trafficking organizations to grow marijuana, sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart said.
Plants, many as 6 feet tall, were cut down and lifted out of gardens by a helicopter. Due to state cutbacks, agents had to hike into the gardens at an elevation over 5,000 feet and hike back out, Stuart said...