In a press launch, the MET launched knowledge in regards to the operation’s many successes. “Since August 26, 2022, MET investigators have served 127 search warrants at unlawful cultivation places, arresting 103 suspects,” the MET acknowledged. “On account of the search warrants, investigators have seized 158,906 marijuana crops, 29,897 kilos of processed marijuana, 30 firearms, 28,259 grams (62.3 kilos) of concentrated marijuana, 5,443 grams (11.9 kilos) of Psilocybin mushrooms, and seized roughly $1,643,688.00 in illicit proceeds. Investigators additionally eradicated 1,188 greenhouses discovered at these places, and mitigated six electrical bypasses and 7 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extraction labs.”
The entire investigations discovered offenders in violation of the California Medical and Grownup-Use Ganja Regulation and Security Act, in addition to San Bernardino County ordinance, which doesn’t enable industrial ganja. The county additionally doesn’t enable out of doors ganja cultivation.
Though Operation Hammer Strike has concluded, the division states that county sheriffs will proceed to research unlawful cultivation. “The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will proceed to implement California’s ganja legal guidelines and San Bernardino County’s ganja cultivation and distribution ordinance. Individuals discovered responsible of violating the state regulation and county ordinance are topic to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property.”
Operation Hammer Strike started in September 2021. On the time, there have been an estimated 1,285 unlawful grows reported all through the county. In September, the MET started with a search warrant investigation of Hesperia, Pinon Hills, Phelan, and Landers, which resulted in quite a few arrests and seizures of ganja crops, processed ganja product, firearms, and $30,000 money. Throughout the identical month, one other investigation yielded much more arrests and product seizures. This development continued all through 2021 and into 2022, with press releases describing the investigations in October 2021, November 2021, January 2022, February, and March.
In March, San Bernardino County sponsored state laws with Meeting Invoice 2728 and Senate Invoice 1426 to cease unlawful ganja cultivation. “Unlawful ganja farming is devastating the desert communities of San Bernardino County,” mentioned Supervisor Curt Hagman. “The County is decided to cease this horrible injury to the surroundings and to guard the lives and property of our residents from lawless criminals.”
Assemblymember Thurston “Smitty” Smith additionally defined the reasoning behind the push to remove unlawful grows. “The folks of California let their voices be heard and selected to decriminalize ganja. I help their selection. Nonetheless, what they didn’t ask for was rampant cultivation and an unlawful market sucking up sources, destroying the surroundings, and placing our communities in danger,” mentioned Smith.
By Could 2022, one area of San Bernardino County reported that there have been no extra reported ganja grows within the space. “I’m certain there are extra on the market however we even have zero grows left within the Morongo Basin which have been reported to us,” Sheriff Shannon Dicus of Morongo Basin advised the Hello-Desert Star. San Bernardino County Supervisor Daybreak Rowe commented on the short name to motion. “It usually takes this county a very long time to make adjustments for our residents however this was not the case. Thanks very a lot on behalf of our residents for making it a safer place to reside once more,” Rowe mentioned.
Statewide efforts to remove unlawful ganja grows have continued steadily. Again in October 2021, California Lawyer Rob Bonta introduced that the Marketing campaign Towards Marijuana Planting (CAMP) resulted within the destruction of over a million ganja crops. “Unlawful and unlicensed marijuana planting is unhealthy for the environment, unhealthy for our economic system, and unhealthy for the well being and security of our communities,” Bonta mentioned in a press launch.
Extra not too long ago in July, businesses just like the California Division of Fish and Wildlife introduced the authorization of enforcement groups to research unlawful cultivation in the course of the 2022 rising season.
In October, Bonta introduced that CAMP would henceforth be referred to as the Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Ganja (EPIC), and would proceed to research unlawful cultivation. “The illicit market outweighs the authorized market,” Bonta mentioned. “It’s the other way up and our aim is full eradication of the unlawful market.”