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Thread: Utah wilderness becoming a hot spot for marijuana plantation

  1. #1

    Utah wilderness becoming a hot spot for marijuana plantation

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=6458101

    Utah wilderness becoming a hot spot for marijuana plantations
    May 11th, 2009 @ 10:07pm
    By Sam Penrod

    SALT LAKE CITY -- Drug agents in Utah are gearing up for what may be another busy summer searching for huge marijuana plantations hidden away in Utah's mountains.

    The pot grows create numerous issues that go far beyond more drugs on the streets, including trash, chemicals and the potential for violence against those who may unknowingly discover the illegal operations.

    Last summer was the busiest ever for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Utah. The agency investigated 11 pot-growing sites on public land in the state; more than 90,000 marijuana plants were seized.

    On July 30, 2008, 7,500 marijuana plants were seized in Washington County. A month later, 15,000 plants were destroyed in Iron County. Then, law enforcement officials said it was probably the largest marijuana grow in Utah history.

    Within a day or two, however, there was another record setter. This time it was in Sevier County: 18,000 marijuana plants burned. A handful of other grow sites were also busted in Utah in late summer and in mid-October

    Deer hunters found a site in Sanpete County, the whopping 23,000 marijuana plants had a street value in the tens of millions. Two suspects were arrested as they tried to run from their makeshift camp.

    At the Sanpete County site, law enforcement found what they had seen in other grow sites over the summer: natural springs and hundreds of feet of irrigation piping, with sprinklers to water the plants. Garbage was everywhere, including containers of fertilizer and other chemicals, some used to spray the plants for bugs.

    All the marijuana plantation busts were complex operations, requiring a summer of hard work that was all for nothing. "It's pretty intensive. It is not something you throw in the ground and come back next fall and hope you have a good crop. That's not the way it works," said DEA Supervisory Special Agent Michael Root.

    The drug cartels have encountered more trouble smuggling marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border since 9/11, so they've moved growing operations to the United States.

    California, Oregon and Washington have dealt with the issue for years. Drug lords are now seeing the green in Utah -- remote areas, but with easy access to interstate freeways -- to ship their product to California and the Midwest.

    One of the reasons pot operators are migrating to Utah may surprise you. "They are not legitimate businessmen. They are out there breaking the law, so to steal from another marijuana grower is not beyond them," Root said.
    Drug agents destroy a crop of marijuana seized in a plantation raid.

    In other words, rival growers often steal another's crop that is left unguarded, and many growers are searching for new areas to plant. They're also arming themselves with guns, as evidenced in every bust last summer.

    "Every grow had a weapon associated with it, whether it is for keeping away animals or warding off other growers trying to steal their stash. So, there is that element of danger associated with firearms at these grow sites," Root said.

    Most of the suspects arrested were illegal immigrants hired to do the work. For those operations that are harvested and make it to the street, the payday is millions of dollars.

    "This is an expensive cash crop, and if it is successful, they are looking at a big profit. If it is unsuccessful, they are looking at 10 to 20 years in federal prison," Root said.

    DEA agents warn that if you stumble upon a pot grow, you should leave quickly and quietly. They also ask that it be reported to the nearest sheriff's office.

    Local DEA agents are in yearly training right now, preparing to cleanup and destroy the marijuana plantations they expect to find in Utah later this summe

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  3. #2
    Though I may be pro-pot, this really is a big problem. There are a lot of people who spend time in the back country and stumbling upon big grow ops like these could get them killed.

    I spend a lot of time searching out small pockets of water while fishing and a lot of that exploring is in the mountains of Sevier and Sanpete.

    It's weed. It's not worth killing (or dying) for. The trash and chemicals is a big deal to me, too.

    Hopefully I'm not harassed this year by agents while I'm fishing.
    Lost On A Hill

    Utah Water Log

  4. #3
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Don't carry any on ya

  5. #4
    Gosh what a brilliant idea though. Find an illegal alien. Set him up with a bag of seeds, drip system, sleeping bag, and some food. Send him out into the wilderness. Give him a cell phone to call you when the crop is ready. you either get a full grown crop and a million dollars, or he gets caught and you make sure he can't trace back to you. So you're either a million dollars richer or you lose out on a mexican and less than 1k in supplies.

    Time to learn Spanish I think.

    Your safety is not my responsibility.

  6. #5
    So will our state be spending millions of our tax dollars trying to find these dime a dozen grow ops? How is this supposed to solve the problem and prevent drug lords from investing a few grand for single grow op when they are profiting millions of dollars when one is successful.

    oh wait... This is the war on drugs
    Its not supposed to make sense

  7. #6
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathcricket
    Gosh what a brilliant idea though. Find an illegal alien. Set him up with a bag of seeds, drip system, sleeping bag, and some food.
    Give him a cell phone.....
    ...he gets caught and you make sure he can't trace back...
    Almost sounds like the way ACORN does it's work rounding up some employees

  8. #7
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit42
    oh wait... This is the war on drugs
    No, it's now known as the Homeland Contingency Cultivation Eradication Program

  9. #8

  10. #9
    Fcuk the hieroglyphs! I wanna stumble upon some weed
    "Always look at the bright side of life"

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    Quote Originally Posted by Summit42
    oh wait... This is the war on drugs
    No, it's now known as the Homeland Contingency Cultivation Eradication Program
    Shouldn't be joking about this. If we don't stop the pot dealer then the terrorists win!!






  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathcricket
    Gosh what a brilliant idea though. Find an illegal alien. Set him up with a bag of seeds, drip system, sleeping bag, and some food. Send him out into the wilderness. Give him a cell phone to call you when the crop is ready. you either get a full grown crop and a million dollars, or he gets caught and you make sure he can't trace back to you. So you're either a million dollars richer or you lose out on a mexican and less than 1k in supplies.


  13. #12
    well, after reading alot about this recently, here is what i think.

    1. Your reading my comment
    2. Now your saying/thinking that's a stupid fact.
    4. You didn't notice that i skipped 3.
    5. Your checking it now.
    6. Your smiling.
    7. Your still reading my comment.
    8. You know all you have read is true.
    10. You didn't notice that i skipped 9.
    11. Your checking it now.
    12. You didn't notice there are only 10 facts

    oh ya!

    Legalize it and i will advertise it
    Tear down Dams, Build up Dreams!

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by fouristhenewone
    well, after reading alot about this recently, here is what i think.


    Legalize it and i will advertise it
    Agreed. If it's legal, then there's no need for armed illegals and organized crime surrounding it.


    ...Right there with ya, Summit. Silly 'war'.
    Lost On A Hill

    Utah Water Log

  15. #14
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don
    Shouldn't be joking about this. If we don't stop the pot dealer then the terrorists win!!
    Terrorists won't be winning because of pot dealers. They have better odds now

  16. #15
    I visited the Sevier County pot site.
    The 3 illegal immigrants running it were each paid $600 for 3 months work.
    It was quite sophisticate with drip irrigations and inline fertilizing.
    Apparently pot likes Miracle Grow.

    The growers never left the site and never saw the people who dropped weekly supplies at a cache nearby.
    Please buy my book - "Paiute ATV Trail Guide" at www.atvutah.com - I need gas money!!!!

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RedMan
    I visited the Sevier County pot site.
    The 3 illegal immigrants running it were each paid $600 for 3 months work.
    It was quite sophisticate with drip irrigations and inline fertilizing.
    Apparently pot likes Miracle Grow.

    The growers never left the site and never saw the people who dropped weekly supplies at a cache nearby.
    Thats brilliant!
    Your safety is not my responsibility.

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