Nearly 400 marijuana plants were seized by Madera County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday from an open location in North Fork within 500 feet of a family-run church.
Deputies received tips that “patch pirates” — a slang term used for thieves who target marijuana plants specifically — were seen dragging plants to their cars along Road 200, sheriff’s spokesperson Erica Stuart said.
“When deputies arrived they found a huge operation in an open area,” Stuart said. “You could walk right into it from the back of this church and you can imagine that’s pretty darn unsettling for the congregants.”
Stuart would not release the name of the church — there are at least two along Road 200 in North Fork — because she said more thieves would target the area as a result...