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$15.3 million of illegal cannabis seized from 20 East Bay grow sites

Sophia Villalba and Ella Sogomonian

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(KRON) — On Tuesday officers served 20 search warrants at illegal grow sites throughout Contra Costa County including five in Antioch, three in Brentwood, two in Discovery Bay and 10 in Pittsburg.

Over $15.3 million of illegal cannabis was seized along with seven firearms and over $24,000 in cash. The investigation, led by the Department of Cannabis Control, spanned over several weeks and included agencies such as the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Tax and Fee Administration, the California National Guard and local law enforcement.

Investigators say the biggest giveaway that marijuana is being grown inside an illegal grow site, usually unsuspecting residential houses, is an increasingly high power bill.

Photo: DCCPhoto: DCCPhoto: DCC

“Mold is a huge issue and obviously that gets into the plant and then obviously to unsuspecting consumers who are inhaling or consuming mold,” said Chief of Law

Enforcement Bill Jones, Department of Cannabis Control. “None of the product from the illegal market is being tested, so at times they’re using banned chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides.”

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Several people were detained but Jones did not specify how many arrests were made, adding that they are more focused on punishing those running the operations rather than the employees at the illegal grow sites.


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