Marijuana eradication in Mono, Inyo counties

Mono County District Attorney’s Office press release

On June 1, 2015 the Mono County DA’s Office conducted flight operations in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s marijuana eradication program.  The purpose of the program is to locate large scale outdoor marijuana grows on public lands within Mono County.


These flight operations resulted in the detection of several marijuana grows in rugged and remote locations in the southern Mono County area. The grow sites were very large in size and ran up to approximately seven miles in length.

As a result the Mono County DA’s Office, with the assistance of the Forest Service, initiated a two month investigation.  The investigation was also aided with the assistance of the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department since some of the marijuana grows crossed over into Inyo County.


During the investigation, it was determined that the largest grow, which was located in Mono County, was typical of grows commonly operated by Mexican Drug Trade Organizations. Along with those characteristics, several Hispanic males were identified and were seen tending to the garden armed with rifles.

On August 11, 2015 Investigators with the Mono District Attorney’s Office, assisted by Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, Forrest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Guard and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, conducted a raid operation to arrest and detain any gardeners found in the site.


Due to unknown reasons, it was determined that the persons responsible for tending to the garden had fled, leaving the garden unattended.  The heavy late July rains appeared to have damaged the marijuana plants within the garden and therefore that is suspected to be the reason that the garden was abandoned.

During eradication and reclamation efforts approximately 40,000 marijuana plants with a conservative street value of well over $2 million dollars were located and destroyed from this site.

During reclamation efforts a total of 4,401 pounds of trash was removed. Some of that consisted of 10.82 miles of irrigation hose and 550 pounds of fertilizer.  Numerous other illegal and highly toxic pesticides were found being used in the garden and Hazmat crews later responded to recovered and removed those pesticides.


Large scale marijuana gardens on public lands creates a danger to the public and to our recreational users of these lands.  Unfortunately, hunters, hikers and others that come across these types of gardens and the individuals who attend these gardens put themselves in great danger.

Along with the public danger there are also serious environmental impacts that these marijuana gardens create.  If you ever encounter a marijuana garden you should quickly and quietly remove yourself from the area.  Do not continue on your path and do not make contact with anyone in the area.  Immediately call the Mono County District Attorney or any other law enforcement agency as soon as you possibly can.


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46 Responses to Marijuana eradication in Mono, Inyo counties

  1. mtngal August 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    Great job, everyone! Thank you for your continued efforts to rid the Eastside of this criminal element, not to mention the environmental damage caused by these grows!

  2. sugar magnolia August 27, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    America’s drug laws…..supporting the Mexican drug cartels for decades!

    • JT August 27, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      good job. Keep those people out of the eastern sierra!

  3. Trouble August 27, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    Maybe they can help fight the fires when they legalize it?

  4. Low-Inyo August 27, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    Trouble :…Maybe Donald Trump can MAKE them fight the fires,and then MAKE them build that 300 foot tall border fence…and of course MAKE Mexico pay for it, all before the mass deportation he has planned takes place.

    • Confused August 27, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

      After he builds the wall around the United states he can fill it with water…
      U.S.A. problems solved…

      • Low-Inyo August 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

        confused : Those plans with the water in the wall might have to be put on hold.I’m hearing once the “great wall” is built,he’s got plans to build a “great,great ark”…much greater and bigger and better than the Biblical Noah’s Ark..and then start shipping out the European immigrants and “anchor-babies”…..question is,who’s he going to MAKE pay for that one ?

    • Trouble August 28, 2015 at 8:40 am #

      I’m kind of enjoying listening to Trump. The politicians are getting schooled by the class clown.

      • Low-Inyo August 28, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

        Trouble :.We can agree on that one….The funniest part is watching the other Republican clowns getting all antsy about him now…not really knowing what to say or do about what he says or does. That’s the funny part…sad part is how this makes America look to the rest of the World….kinda like a Saturday Night Live comedy skit….but it is entertaining.

  5. JT August 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

    I just noticed Mono sheriff either didn’t participate or there’s a typo? I can’t imagine they didn’t participate being as it was in mono

    • Trouble August 28, 2015 at 5:00 am #

      The smoke shop”s tax revenue paid for this raid!

  6. Jeremiah Joseph August 28, 2015 at 8:13 am #

    Whats the definition of insanity again? expecting something different from the same actions or something like that… how many years in a row has this happened and you think we are making progress??
    I’m pretty sure supporters of this status quo lost the argument years ago, only the efforts of those who benefit from this status quo have made every effort to keep it the way it is (law enforcement, pharmaceutical drug companies, private prisons..) and when we have the corruptive influence of money like we do in our legislative branch, it doesn’t matter what the people think or want, it’s ALL about merging towards big business interest and economic growth..

    What America are you hanging on to? the America I believe in was lost when we lost INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY through a REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT, if you haven’t noticed we don’t have either what I just mentioned..

  7. Yawn! August 28, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    Trouble, I think you forget to put a “D” at the end of your handle.

    • Trouble August 28, 2015 at 7:14 pm #


  8. Tinner August 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    Benett Kesler basically said I was completely nuts for thinking something similar to this but it’s too bad we cant monitor these growers until harvest time and then bust them, sell the marijuana to pot stores in the state.
    Money talks and that’s a lot of money to go where I don’t know.
    I know that’s out there thinking, I knew it was before BK told me I was off my rocker.

  9. High Water August 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    This is nothing to be proud of. 40 yrs. into the ‘War On Drugs’ and our local mountains are full of Mexican drug cartels growing weed everywhere. 40 yrs. Folks! It’s getting worse, not better. Quit buying what the govt. is selling. We’re being fleeced!

    You want this to go away? I’ll tell ya how! Follow the money!!!! Send the folks who launder the money back to Mexico to prison. problem solved. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!!

    • John September 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      I followed the tax dollars and it went to law enforcement. This is nothing but a big party for law enforcement, and they look forward to it every year.

      If the deported illegals I think you’d see a lot less grows on public land, but that would be pro-active and not the re-active knee jerk all this is now.

      • KR September 1, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

        Curious… how do you suggest this “pro- active” approach would go? How would you do it?

        • John September 2, 2015 at 10:09 am #

          I think they could stake the grow out, let them harvest, then follow them to the big guy at the top. But I understand in this case it sounds like the site was abandoned so that might not have worked.

          What’s going on now is 100% reactive, and they’ll be out doing the exact same thing this time next year.

          or must make pot 100% legal which I think would allow people to grow on private land and keeping them out of our forest.

          • John September 4, 2015 at 8:02 am #

            btw, if they staked the grow out and followed the weed to the big boss they could probably confiscate everything they found along the way. It would probably lead to the confiscation of millions and millions of dollars, cars, planes, homes, you name it.

  10. BJ August 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Wow…what a waste of money mono da office. You should let the forest service deal with their federal dollars and save our county funds for something more productive like a roof for the ice rink!

  11. earl duran August 30, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    Trump would tax the growers, there is more to the Donald than you think, it is great to see the worms up in D.C. being forced to make up new lies, heard that there is
    a shortage of Depends @! the Capitol.

  12. Low-Inyo August 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    earl duran :.The thing about Donald Trump,maybe not so much with this “marijuana growers” topic,but with others is ,if he does get the GOP nomination,which I doubt he will,and then if the Country went brain-dead and did elect him into office on election day 2016,he still would have to get approval from Congress with most of the “plans” he has …or at least the plans he talks about now…BEFORE he could do them….this isn’t a third-world country where there is a dictator that rules the masses,and what the dictator says goes..This isn’t olden-days Rome..The people still have a say in things…He couldn’t just go out and spend billions and billions of dollars building fences and walls and arks,and then spend billions and billions more with the Law Enforcement he’d need to mass-deport millions and millions of men,women and children…or as he calls them “anchor-babies”…..he couldn’t “make” other Countries pay for his plans,and a good bet if he even tried such a thing,the American people would be the ones to suffer….maybe in some really bad ways.I doubt his big,tough talk(or money) would work,or carry much weight with China or Russia….or even Mexico,if it came down to it.Thing is,it’s all a mute point anyway.When election day 2016 rolls around Donald Trump and his big mouth will be a distant memory…and not a factor who becomes the next President of the United States….the only way he will have anytype of factor on election day is if he runs third-party and sucks a lot of votes from the GOP and allows the Democratic nominee to walk away with the victory,which I think will happen.

    • Charles O. Jones August 31, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

      Lets not mistake Trump’s sound bites for “plans”.

  13. tony cumia August 31, 2015 at 3:38 am #

    the ice rink is a TOML issue, not a Mono county issue.

    • Ken Warner August 31, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

      The “Ice Rink” is on county land. I don’t know how important that is….

  14. Zack August 31, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Hey lower Inyo, you say congress would stop Trump from doing any of his plans. I would like to point out that congress has not stopped Obama from putting any of his insane, destroy the USA that we all love, plans in action. We need a new perspective to stop the destruction of this awesome country! Trump might piss off some but at least you know his position, he wont lie to get votes like other candidates.,

    • John September 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      If Trump wins, there will be a lot of job opening in Mammoth Lakes.

      Employers will probably have to pay a bit more an hour too.

      • Low-Inyo September 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

        John….If Trump wins,there would be a LOT of job openings across the whole U.S. of A.,but not because of what your probably trying to refer to…the job openings,mine included,would be because many would be fleeing to another Country to avoid the circus and mayhem that was headed our way…..but again…..mute point…..Trump ain’t going the win the GOP or a third party nomination,let alone the Presidency.He may be the “angry man’s choice”,and,granted, there are a LOT of angry older men around,including here in Inyo and Mono County (especially here in lower-Inyo County)…..but not enough to get him into the White House.Come 2016,they will have even more reason to be angry and angry-er-er.

  15. Low-Inyo August 31, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    Hey Zack !!!!

    January 2009—-unemployment rate-8.3 %—today—-6.1 %
    January 2009—-deficit—9.8 %—today—-3.3 %
    January 2009—-Dow—7,949—today—16,459
    January 2009—consumer confadence—13.7 %—today—78.1 %
    January 2009—GDP growth—-minus 5.4 %—-today—plus 4.1 %
    January 2009—-troops deployed—186.300—today—31,320
    —passed healthcare reform
    ended war in Iraq
    got Bin Laden
    benifits for Federal employees and veterans
    tribal law and order act
    …and the list goes on and on….
    But let’s say President Obama failed anyway…..because that is what FOX NEWS and some of the angry older Americans are saying says…

    • John September 2, 2015 at 10:04 am #

      The unemployment rate is bs. once you fall off the back side you’re out of the system and not longer counted as unemployed.

      and last I checked the war isn’t over in Iraq in fact just about the entire country has been taken over by isis.

      Lets say the Iraq war is over, now we have a race war right here in the U.S. Thanks to a race baiting activist POTUS, and his Black Lives Matter terrorists.

      Not really related but.. I needed a few people for a prevailing wage job that would last about 6 months that pays about $45.00 an hour and I couldn’t even get EDD to return my call. Maybe everyone was already working.

      • Low-Inyo September 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

        John…Your right….the unemployment rate I have listed is incorrect…it’s not 6.1….heard on the news today it’s down to 5.1….and I’m not sure what you mean by “falling off the back side”…does that mean that is who no longer collects unemployment benifits or no longer is looking for a job ? If so,when that happens….in most cases….it’s because they either don’t want to work,they are lazy, or refuse to work for less than $17.00 an hour.Seems those that choose to do that,when they get home and see an eviction notice on their door because of failure to pay rent or mortgage,or check the ice-box and see no food,maybe time to accept one of those lower-paying jobs they don’t want to do.There isn’t a town in the U.S. of A.,little town or big city,if your willing to work,you can’t find a job…As far as the war in Iraq,they are always going to be fighting over there about something…been that way for THOUSANDS of years in the middle-east….but now,at least we’re not losing American soldiers on a daily basis like we were when Bush and Cheney were doing their business.The race war ?….what you say is bunk…What is happening now is a bad thing,but not caused by President Obama…what started the “black lives matter”movement were the few bad apples in Law Enforcement,and now the good officers are the ones having to pay for THEIR(the bad apples) actions…not only with the recent rash of shootings,but also the lack of respect,as well as the added concern they must have in the field and on patrol….is it right ?…of course not,but if you want to lay blame,blame it on those rouge cops that started the problem.

        • John September 7, 2015 at 7:19 am #

          Low-Inyo I agree with of that. yes, my point was the people who’s unemployment benefits have ended are no longer counted.

          We also have the problem women who have two kids out of wedlock and say they don’t know who the father is getting benefits while the father of the kids live under the same roof. That’s plan and simple fraud and there’s a lot of it going on.

          There’s also the problem of no good paying jobs we cause all we do is cater to tourist.

          If we mined more minerals we would have better paying manufacturing jobs. We need to actually make something from nothing to have good paying jobs. We all can’t work for the USFS, BLM, DWP, and Caltrans.

          • Hold September 8, 2015 at 7:45 am #

            Sorry to go on a tangent here, but why is the situation you describe “problem women”? Are the men not participants in your conspiracy? Just the women are the problem, huh?

  16. earl duran September 1, 2015 at 6:34 am #

    I agree with Zack, the tax the growers comment was just that a comment, not really serious about taxing the growers. I hope they stop the growers and throw them back to Mexico where they belong, If you are happy with the state off our government and
    Washington, Then cut down Trump and the change he is bringing to the forefront. like someone said he will most likely not be the Nom.

  17. High Water September 1, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

    Wow!!!!!! Wow!!!!! Wow!!!!

    Some of you just don’t get it do you? The growers are the cartels geniuses. they send a mule (low level employee) to the mountains to harvest the crop.
    That’s why no one is arrested, and that’s why you can’t tax them. Maybe, the sheriff’s dept. Can go to Mexico and arrest the grower. Lol!

    FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!! geeez

  18. Badfinger September 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    Hey my plants are 5 ft tall now and bushy too hahaha

    • John September 4, 2015 at 8:06 am #

      Cool Badfinger! Mine are also doing very well this season.

      I’m thinking of entering Mexico illegally and demanding I get a driver’s lic, education for my kids, and financial assistance while waving the flag of the United States of America.

      That probably wouldn’t turn out well would it?

  19. Low-Inyo September 3, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    Some people have the solution and how the Government can profit from this growing problem,not only here in Inyo County,but Nationwide…..the Donald Trump way…..Let the growers grow on National forest land,let the plants get big and healthy….keep an eye on things,and when they come to cultivate, have an IRS agent suddenly appear out of a helicopter from above with pen and paper in hand to write out a tax-bill for the cartels to pay before they load up their trucks and ship-off their product to the public…and then “make” Mexico pay for this culvert operation…and while this operation is going on “order” the Hispanic cultivators and loaders to speak English since they are here in America.

  20. Joe September 3, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    Seven mile long grove. And not a single arrest!?. Smh.

    • John September 4, 2015 at 8:09 am #

      I have a hard time buying it was abandoned. Looks like the grow still had potential for a hefty return on investment.

      I am %100 percent against these illegal grows, but I’m also against the LEO camp out / party every year. Just like the war on drugs these yearly pot plant collection parties do nothing to prevent the same thing happening time and time again. .

    • Trouble September 4, 2015 at 10:52 am #

      Since news seems to be a little slow this time of year, I’d like to know how they know this was a drug cartel farm? Or our they just guessing?

  21. Zack September 4, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Hey Low Inyo- what country are you from? From your remarks it is obvious you are some kind of wingnut with only the warped wisdom you find on the web. Obummer will take credit for anything positive. Unemployment rate down, mexicans all got telemarketer jobs with free cell phones. Thanks to the Kenya refuge this countrys dollar plummits, our tax payers cannot keep up with our presidents freebee policies.The dow? Taking a huge dive in case you havent noticed. but if the dow goes up you think Dumbo made it happen?Obummer bailed out of Iraq with his chimpanze tail between his legs making all true Americans disgusted.Truth be known he didnt want a war with his comrads. And Bin Laden-Obummer took all the credit for what prior government had done to get the SOB.And one more thing, do you really get FOX NEWS in Darwin or where ever you live your sheltered life?

    • John September 8, 2015 at 5:32 am #

      I’d like to point out Chimpanzees don’t have tails.

      If you ever wondered if you are looking at a ape or monkey, look for the tail. Monkeys have tails, apes, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, and HUMANS – do not.

      Hope this clears up things up

  22. Low-Inyo September 6, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    Zack….You talk like a fool and a racist…from your post there,it’s easy to see why you don’t like President Obama…in case you haven’t noticed,YOUR view is in the minority….the 2008 and 2012 elections prove the 2016 election will too..just one of the angry minorities in this Country….as far as Darwin goes,what on Earth do you have against that little town ?…. are the citizens living there not good enough for you, and on your long list of things making you angry-er-er too ?

    • Roger September 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      I agree with Low-Inyo– and would add that you also speak as a typical illiterate and ignorant person.


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