More than 12,000 marijuana plants — valued at nearly $15 million and believed to be tied to a Mexican drug trafficking organization — were seized and disposed of by Madera County narcotics agents earlier this week.
Authorities said the 12-hour-long operation in Bailey Flats — a former settlement 10 miles north of Raymond now used for cattle grazing — was a successful blow to a rise of illegal marijuana farms in the Madera County foothills.
“We’re seeing a resurgence of these huge drug trafficking operations in the foothills east of Madera County,” said Erica Stuart, spokesperson for the Madera County Sheriff’s Department. “They’re trespassing on private land... they are armed and should be considered dangerous.”
No arrests were made in Thursday’s raid, but Stuart said authorities found evidence that appeared to tie the marijuana to “particular Mexican organizations” such as cartels, though she couldn’t say which as the investigation continues...