Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 @ 3:46 p.m.

Major Weed Bust in Klamath; 1,450 Pounds Destroyed

From a Del Norte County Facebook post:

County Code Enforcement Leads Team that Destroys 1,450 Pounds of Cannabis at Illegal Grow in Klamath.

The Del Norte County Community Development Department’s Code Enforcement Division received a complaint of an unpermitted and illegal cannabis grow at 99 Redwood Road in Klamath, California.

After gathering the needed evidence, Code Enforcement Division staff reached out to the Eureka Office of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for assistance with addressing this unpermitted and illegal cannabis cultivation operation. This will be the 3rd year in a row that wildlife officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Cannabis Enforcement Program have come to Del Norte County to aid the Code Enforcement Division with addressing illegal grow operations. These operations can often reach several thousand plants in size.

Following initial contact with the wildlife officers, the Code Enforcement Division continued to monitor the matter, prepare the case for enforcement, communicate with the wildlife officer team and assist with resource coordination locally.

On 10/12/2022, staff from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, County Code Enforcement Division, Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, Pelican Bay State Prison and Del Norte County Community Development Department Roads Division contributed to the warrant service and enforcement actions to address this public nuisance.

Via the warrant service a total of 1,228 cannabis plants were eradicated, and 1,450.5 pounds of hanging, processed, and semi-processed cannabis were documented and destroyed.

Illegal unpermitted cannabis cultivation sites typically generate numerous public nuisance conditions which violate Del Norte County Codes and/or state law. Complaints received by the Code Enforcement Division from community members regarding illegal grows range from increased vehicle and/or foot traffic to and from the grow location, suspicious activities at the property, suspicious person(s) in the neighborhood, increase in property crimes, noise from generators day and night and of course the strong odor which emanates from the cultivation of cannabis.

Additional issues that are common at illegal cultivation sites are environmental impacts. Cultivation locations often have impacts to watersheds from the unlawful pumping of water from streams or the diversion of a watercourse to create a dam. Cultivation of cannabis demands a large consumption of water. Other environmental impacts are unpermitted grading, fuel spillage from generators, or improper use of fertilizers and/or pesticides. Cannabis grows of this size require a large amount of people on site to work, Workers at a grow location often live in tents, travel trailers, shanties or vehicles.

At this particular grow site and many others code enforcement has investigated in prior years have large greenhouses that were constructed without first obtaining required building permits. These structures are often abandoned after the growing season and left to rot into the landscape.

Further nuisance issues common at illegal grow locations are the discarding of fertilizer packaging, pesticide packing, plastic soil bags, fuel and oil containers, food packages and other matter generated from the human occupancy onsite and the cultivation operation. These discarded materials end up strewn about the property. Human waste disposal methods have been known to be an issue at illegal grows sites as well.

The Code Enforcement Division will be issuing a Notice of Nuisance to the property owner. The Notice of Nuisance will outline the violations on the property, the corrective actions and address recovery of enforcement cost expended by the County to address this public nuisance. Work by the Division will continue until the unpermitted structures, the substandard housing conditions and the cleaning up of junk, trash and debris are addressed.

This abatement reflects Measure R tax dollars at work since Code Enforcement and Law Enforcement are supported by Measure R. More importantly, a nuisance in a quiet neighborhood has been addressed.


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