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Attorney General Lockyer Announces Record-Breaking Marijuana Busts
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program has eradicated 1,215,042 illegally cultivated marijuana plants worth $4.9 billion during 2006. This number surpasses the prior record of 1,134,692 worth $4.5 billion set in 2005 during that year’s eradication season.
“This is another record breaking year in finding and destroying illegal enterprises,” Lockyer said. “Our agents are finding larger and larger gardens worth tens of millions. It is not unusual for a single garden to have 20,000 plants. And, the season is not over. DOJ and partner agencies are still in the fields and on mountainsides. These officers are tenacious and their hard work makes CAMP’s success possible.”
CAMP’s most recent raids in Fresno, Trinity, Shasta, Riverside and Lake counties slid past season totals for 2005's record-breaking year by 80,350 plants. To date, the 2006 season has led to the eradication of 335 gardens, arrest of 18 suspects and seizure of 17 weapons. In contrast, the previous season totaled 753 gardens, 42 arrests and 76 seized weapons. CAMP’s work began in July and will continue into October.
This year’s results build upon a six-year trend of dramatically increased seizures. In addition to large garden sizes, an increased number of deployment teams, aerial surveillance and aerial transportation of officers contribute to growing seizure amounts. In the 23-year history of the CAMP program, agents have eradicated over five million plants with a value of more than $20 billion.
In 2006, counties with the largest number of illegally cultivated marijuana plants include Shasta, with 204,571 plants worth $818,284,000; Lake, with 186,327 plants worth $745,308,000; and Mendocino, with 114,441 plants worth $457,764,000. Eradication from more populous counties include San Bernardino, with 83,678 plants worth $334,712,000; Fresno, with 81,689 plants worth $326,756,000; and Santa Clara, with 38,875 plants worth $155,500,000.
CAMP's primary objective is reducing the supply of marijuana to the illegal drug trade by eradicating large marijuana crop sites. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California National Guard, California Department of Fish and Game and dozens of local police and sheriff departments throughout the state participate in the program.