Tactical-Life.com accompanied the LA County Marijuana Eradication Team (MET) to locate, occupy and destroy an huge Marijuana “garden” planted illegally on public lands in the Angeles National Forest. The “gardens” are blended in with local vegetation and are fed water and fertilizer from reservoirs. The reservoirs are usually a dammed up creek lined with plastic to contain the fertilizer-treated water that poisons both the local water supply and together with the illegal pesticides used, ultimately the watershed runoff feeding southern California.
The fields contain a mix of seedlings to mature plants, sometimes in the thousands, as well as camouflaged structures for living, cooking and drying the crop for easier transport out. Also usually found are stocks of concentrated pesticides and fertilizers, a lot of them not allowed to be used in the United States. The “garden” that was the subject of the operation was on the western edge of the Angeles National Forest, located in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County in southern California.
A Tactical-Life.com writer and photographer joined the LA County Marijuana Eradication Team and spent hours quietly approaching the suspected location of the garden through miles of rough terrain. The MET is a sixty-person team comprised of a mix of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department law enforcement investigators, narcotics officers and patrolmen as well as California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Forest Service agents, and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) operators.
Once we got to the garden, we found the huge crop of marijuana as well as PVC piping, hundreds of pounds of chemicals, food, propane tanks, tools as well as debris, litter and waste in the middle of one of the most beautiful and delicate ecosystems in the country. The hundreds of healthy, mature marijuana plants as well as seedlings each had a small PVC pipe running to it giving it a constant supply of fertilizer-enriched, gravity-fed water.
The marijuana plants found in the quarter square mile area were cut down and the equipment and materials found were placed in cargo nets and hauled out by helicopter out to restore the valley back to its natural state. The final total was slightly over 3,000 illegal Marijuana plants were removed from the National Forest. You’ll find our full story on the LA County Marijuana Eradication Team in an upcoming issue of Tactical Weapons magazine.