Sheriff’s Officials Pull Thousands Of Marijuana Plants From Park in Orange County

Thousands of illegal marijuana plants have been seized from a public park near an upscale Orange County residential neighborhood and just a few hundred feet from a private high school.

On Friday, narcotics investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department removed between 2,500 and 4,000 marijuana plants found growing at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The plants, which are worth up to $5 million, were airlifted and taken to be preserved as evidence.

The operation began at approximately 7 a.m. and lasted the entire day. Officials have no suspects and are unsure how long the plants had been there, but the irrigation system they relied on was a sophisticated one.

"There is a complex irrigation here with this grow," said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "As far as where exactly it's coming from, and the source, that's still part of the investigation."

Orange County is no stranger to outdoor marijuana busts. In July of 2007, sheriff’s deputies removed over 6,000 marijuana plants from the Aliso Canyon and Wood Canyons Wilderness parks. The previous year, the county saw its largest confiscation to date when 20,000 plants were seized inside a gated community in Mission Viejo.

Read more about Friday’s operation here.


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