illegal Marijuana Cultivation 09

Officials on Friday nabbed over $4 million worth of cannabis that was being cultivated and grown illegally in northern Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara County

More than 8,500 illegal cannabis plants worth $4.3M destroyed in two raids

More than 8,500 illegally grown cannabis plants valued at more than $4.3 million were destroyed Friday by members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Cannabis Enforcement Team, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the Special Investigations and Criminal Investigations bureaus, assisted by wardens with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the California Highway Patrol, served warrants at two suspected illegal cultivation sites in the North County.

No cultivation licenses or permits had been issued by the state or the county to any of the sites, nor had the responsible individuals applied for them, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The first search warrant was served in the 6700 block of Foxen Canyon Road, where after securing the property deputies found 658 marijuana plants, which were subsequently destroyed.

There were no arrests, but detectives contacted individuals and interviewed them.

Additionally, Fish & Wildlife officials gathered evidence concerning potential environmental violations, Hoover said. 

A second search warrant was served in the 2400 block of Highway 246, where detectives found and destroyed 7,985 marijuana plants.

Again, there were no arrests, but individuals were contacted and interviewed.

A total of 8,643 marijuana plants worth an estimated value of $4.3 million were destroyed in both raids, which brings last week's three-day marijuana enforcement total to 14,116 marijuana plants destroyed with an estimated value of $7 million.

Santa Maria

Patch Me If You Can 5K planned at Los Flores Ranch Park

The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department and The Patch will host the Patch Me If You Can 5K at 9 a.m. Oct. 13 at Los Flores Ranch Park, 6271 Dominion Road.

The race is open to all ages. There will be two courses offered: a beginner's/intermediate course, as well as an advanced trail run.

Registration costs $17 per person and guarantees free parking, a T-shirt and free access to the corn maze. To register, visit www.thepatchsantamaria.com.

The Patch, a student-run pumpkin patch at Los Flores Ranch Park, is a partnership between the Recreation and Parks Department and Betteravia Farms that provides agricultural education programs to more than 60 high school students.

For more information, call 805-925-0951, ext. 2260.

Santa Maria

Popular Noontime Opera program returning to downtown library

The Santa Maria Public Library and Opera Santa Barbara will present Noontime Opera from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 15 in Shepard Hall.

This free program at the library will feature members of the Opera Santa Barbara Chrisman Studio Artist Residency Program, who will perform selections from Puccini’s "La Boheme," about friendship, love, loss and coming of age.

Seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to this popular returning program.

The library is located at 421 S. McClelland St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and closed Sundays.

For more information, call the Information Desk at 805-925-0994, ext. 8562.

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-- Staff Reports