Second cartel-linked pot plantation busted near South Yuba |

Second cartel-linked pot plantation busted near South Yuba

A helicopter flew over Highway 49, unmarked government cars crowded the road near the bridge over the South Fork Yuba River and men in camouflage headed into the brush early Wednesday in a raid on a second marijuana plantation in the area.

The pot was found growing in an area near another plantation that police raided on Friday near the Independence Trail, Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Evans said. The raid began at about 9:30 a.m.

The plantation is smaller than the more than 19,000 plants found during last week’s raid of a plantation operated by a Mexican drug cartel, Evans said. Three Mexican citizens who had been guarding the plantation were arrested in that raid.

“We believe there’s a connection,” Evans said.

Sheriff’s investigators are teaming up with agents from the United States Bureau of Land Management, which owns the property, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and agents from CAMP ” the California Department of Justice’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, Evans said.

For more than a year, local authorities have been concerned about Mexican drug cartels moving marijuana operations into Nevada County. Cartels increasingly have been planting marijuana in remote areas of California, guarded by Mexican nationals who sometimes have been forced into the work at gunpoint. Traffickers then use profits from pot sales to finance large methamphetamine laboratories in Mexico and the United States, many in Southern California.


To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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