Poison and Garbage Cleared From Possible ‘Cartel’ Grow on Public Lands
Yesterday, a crew removed the remains of what BLM said was a cartel* grow from Southern Humboldt. The growers, BLM said, dammed streams, added a deadly pesticide to the resulting ponds, and treated their marijuana plants with the mixture.
One morning last August, officers slipped into a campsite on public land in the Paradise Ridge area of Southern Humboldt. Two sleeping suspects awoke to law enforcement surrounding their tents. The two were arrested and 933 marijuana plants were eradicated from their nearby garden.
But, said JD Updegraff, a spokesperson for BLM, there were “several thousands pounds of garbage and multiple bottles of carbofuran were found.” Carbofuran is an extremely toxic pesticide. Updegraff says it is “very deadly to wildlife. I’ve seen dead black bear, dead deer. It’s the reason why the fisher population is pretty much gone here. It is also deadly to people in general.”
According to Joe Crane, a BLM ranger, “An [earlier] cleanup crew came in and bagged up all the trash and all the waterline and everything that was left behind from the grow.” That crew hiked out “one and a half tons of garbage,” Crane said. But then a serious rainstorm impeded their work. Yesterday, a helicopter, he said, was brought in to finish the job. “We netted it up and flew it off.”
The crews are done with the big trash, Crane explained. “Everything is cleaned up. No more helicopters.”
But, there is still an “ongoing clean up” for the carbofuran. The public doesn’t want to be going down there just yet,” Crane explained. “The poison has to sit before it can be moved.”
Updegraff said that the workers at what he described as a Cartel site were mixing carbofuran into ponds made from damned up streams. He said the grow site was “a really bad one.”
*Note: The BLM spokesperson we talked with were unable to explain what had identified the grow as being connected to a cartel.
Earlier Chapter: Quiet Officers Surprise Two Suspects