2010-08-13 "California Marijuana Bloodbath" by Mark Lorier from "Californiality.com"
California's illegal marijuana growers, run by Mexican drug cartels, have now begun a bloody war against the people of Northern California.
Since Californiality published the explosive post Humboldt County: Marijuana Epicenter [http://www.californiality.com/2010/07/humboldt-county-marijuana-epicenter.html] three weeks ago, more attention has been focused on Northern California's illegal pot farms on public lands.
Last month's post opened up the proverbial 'can of worms' and, after the controversial expose' was internationally syndicated, other members of the media, lawmakers and outraged taxpayers all began asking the same question:
What are the feds doing to stop Mexican drug cartels from growing marijuana illegally on public lands in California?
Many shocking developments have transpired in California over the past three weeks. Here is a follow-up to the original Californiality post. Special thanks to the officials and citizens who assisted, especially to two anonymous U.S. Bureau of Land Management employees who will remain anonymous.
Fighting Illegal Pot Growers -
John Heil, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, says that the Forest Service spends about 12-percent of its law enforcement budget to fight illegal pot growing, and that more officers have been assigned to help local and state agencies.
"I would say we have been emphasizing and increasing our law enforcement presence and capabilities through funding and training and highly successful federal and state partnerships," Heil said.
In California, the Forest Service has 20 special agents dedicated to drug investigations, plus three special agents assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
So far in 2010, out of the people arrested in connection with illegal grows in Northern California, 75-percent of them were Mexican citizens working for drug cartels.
Many Northern Californians are telling Californiality that, even if California voters legalize marijuana in November, the growers will continue to rape the forests. They also insist that a state tax on marijuana would only encourage illegal growers to sell pot tax-free on the black market.
California Drug War Turns Deadly -
Illegal pot growers clear-cut California's valuable forest land. Chemicals used in their marijuana farms pollute California waterways, killing all life in their path and, now, people are being killed.
An informant, who fears for his life, told Californiality that his fellow Northern Californians are now living in a constant state of terror.
"They’re shooting at cops and killing average California citizens now, and the money from their illegal pot is used to finance human trafficking and assassinations along the U.S.-Mexico border. We need the National Guard out here," said the source.
In Lake County, a sheriff’s deputy recently shot and killed a man who aimed a rifle at officers investigating an illegal pot farm, with thousands of plants, on public land between Middletown and Cobb.
He is the third person to be shot and killed in the last six weeks on the North Coast by officers investigating illegal pot growing during a very violent marijuana enforcement season.
Soon after, in Mendocino County, a sheriff's deputy shot and killed a Mexican national who aimed a rifle at him during the raid of a large pot grow six miles northwest of the Glenn County line. Nearly 12,000 plants were being grown by draining a diverted creek of its water.
Napa Special Investigation Bureau agents recently discovered a campsite at a $14-million pot farm with rifles, animal poisons, a shrine to Jesus Malverde (the unofficial saint of drug traffickers) and to Santa Muerte (the patron saint of death).
Sick of armed marijuana growers taking over public lands, Mendocino County residents have asked the Board of Supervisors to declare a State of Emergency and bring in the California National Guard.
"They're everywhere, they are destroying the forest," said Chris Brennan, a Laytonville rancher, while county Fish and Game Commissioner Paul Trouette delared, "It's out of control."
"Armed guards pose an increasing threat for people in the region’s public lands as well as for officers airlifted into rugged terrain where clandestine gardens often are found," said Bob Nishiyama, the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force Commander.
Nishiyama also stated that agents regularly hear gunshots as they are lowered by helicopter into illegal marijuana gardens.
Drug War Declared On California -
The illegal pot farms' militant armed guards are now being told by their bosses, the Mexican drug cartels, to stay in California and fight --- and to kill, if necessary --- or they will not get paid.
The cartels hang the threat of harm to family members back in Mexico to ensure cooperation in California.
Felipe, a Mexican national headed to a Northern California illegal pot farm, gave a quick statement to Californiality in Spanish in front of a 7-Eleven store in the San Fernando Valley last night. Here is the English translation:
"What your ignorant people in California do not understand is that, in Mexico, a man cannot get work once he has reached 30 years of age. We men have wives and children to support, and we refuse to let our families beg from neighbors for food. We do whatever work pays cash, legal or not."
Felipe continued, "Look, my friend, I am just told where to go to start work. I do not ask a lot of questions about where the money comes from. After paying $3,000 American dollars to get into California, I need to make money fast. I must do what I'm told to do. I don't want anything to happen to my kids."
Before Felipe continued his trip northward, he stated, "My friend, if you keep asking questions about the cartels, you will be killed --- and your American policemen will not be able to do anything. California is the property of the cartels now. You must accept it."
Congress Preparing To Intervene -
U.S. Congressman Wally Herger has drafted a resolution urging Congress to create a long-term solution to permanently dismantle the traffickers' operations.
"It’s important that Congress becomes aware how serious a problem it is in our national forests," Herger said.
"It’s going to take a unified effort and a dedicated effort in coming up with a strategy that can permanently dismantle Mexican drug trafficking on federal lands. This is a federal responsibility."
The congressman from California has introduced House Resolution 1540 [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:H.Res1540:], which states that the Office of National Drug Control Policy needs to "develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy" to fight drug trafficking.
On behalf of the people of California, Californiality urges all Americans to show support for the fearless efforts of U.S. Congressman Wally Herger [http://herger.house.gov/].
December 2010 UPDATE: House Resolution 1540 was passed [http://www.californiality.com/2011/06/house-resolution-1540-passes.html].
We Californians will win this fight together.