14 Jun 2009, 9:49pm
by admin

Utah wilderness becoming a hot spot for marijuana plantations

By Sam Penrod, KSL NewsRadio, May 11th, 2009 [here]

SALT LAKE CITY — Drug agents in Utah are gearing up for what may be another busy summer searching for huge marijuana plantations hidden away in Utah’s mountains.

The pot grows create numerous issues that go far beyond more drugs on the streets, including trash, chemicals and the potential for violence against those who may unknowingly discover the illegal operations.

Last summer was the busiest ever for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Utah. The agency investigated 11 pot-growing sites on public land in the state; more than 90,000 marijuana plants were seized. …

At the Sanpete County site, law enforcement found what they had seen in other grow sites over the summer: natural springs and hundreds of feet of irrigation piping, with sprinklers to water the plants. Garbage was everywhere, including containers of fertilizer and other chemicals, some used to spray the plants for bugs.

All the marijuana plantation busts were complex operations, requiring a summer of hard work that was all for nothing. “It’s pretty intensive. It is not something you throw in the ground and come back next fall and hope you have a good crop. That’s not the way it works,” said DEA Supervisory Special Agent Michael Root.

The drug cartels have encountered more trouble smuggling marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border since 9/11, so they’ve moved growing operations to the United States. …

Most of the suspects arrested were illegal immigrants hired to do the work. For those operations that are harvested and make it to the street, the payday is millions of dollars. … [more]

17 Jun 2009, 8:32pm
by Tallac

Utah? Must be a Public Service Announcement for hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders to be aware. And hunters later in the growing season.

Got the same warning yesterday in Lassen County, California — an early season shoot-out with law enforcement. One perp dead, six arrested and 2 LEO’s shot, one critically.

I miss the the days when poison oak and rattlesnakes were the main worries.



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