The latest Operation Hammer Strike update from sheriff’s officials revealed the recent eradication of hundreds of marijuana greenhouses in San Bernardino County.
The outdoor marijuana cultivations — many operated by suspects in the High Desert, Los Angeles County, and China — were shuttered during OHS Week 22, a seven-day period, which ended Sunday, the SBC Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
During that week, a total of 256 greenhouses were found and eradicated by investigators, who mitigated one electrical bypass and one THC extraction lab, according to sheriff’s officials.
Sheriff’s personnel also arrested 36 suspects, with investigators seizing 52,715 marijuana plants, more than 3,575 pounds of processed marijuana, more than $51,000 in cash, and 10 guns, a sheriff’s report said.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team, along with SBC deputies from several sheriff’s patrol stations, served 17 search warrants at various locations in Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Hinkley, Wonder Valley, Twentynine Palms, El Mirage, Walnut, West Covina, Alhambra, and Chino Hills.
The strike was launched after MET personnel received numerous complaints about large outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivations in these areas:
- 14000 Block of Lakota Road, Apple Valley
- 15400 Block of Riverside, Hesperia
- 39600 Block of Summerset, Hinkley
- 42100 Block of Friends Drive, Hinkley
- 42700 Block of Hinkley Road, Hinkley
- 4300 Block of Bagdad Highway, Twentynine Palms
- 83400 Block of Amboy Road, Wonder Valley
- 1900 Block of Slate Creek Drive, Walnut
- 600 Block of Butterfield, West Covina
- 2000 Block of Elm Street, Alhambra
- 1900 Block of Deer Haven, Chino Hills
- Several parcels with no address in Adelanto, Hinkley, El Mirage, and Wonder Valley.
Suspects were cited or booked on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis, over six plants; possession for sales of marijuana, illegal water discharge, manufacturing a controlled substance, utility theft, and conspiracy.
The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California’s Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and SBC’s ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis activity, including growing marijuana plants outdoors.
The sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce the state’s cannabis laws and the county’s ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution.
Persons found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property, sheriff’s officials said.
Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties in violation of the state law and local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions.
Property owners are encouraged to contact local law enforcement or code compliance agencies to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations.
Anyone with information about the ongoing investigation is asked by the sheriff’s department to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909) 387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org.
Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-tip Hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at wetip.com.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Instagram @RenegadeReporter and Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz