Authorities seized thousands of illegally grown marijuana plants valued at more than $3 million from an elaborate operation east of Moorpark last week.
Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives had investigated an operation in the 900 block of Tierra Rejada Road after getting information about a suspected illegal grow, authorities said. The site is on an unincorporated stretch between Moorpark and Simi Valley dotted by farm and ranch properties.
On Wednesday morning, detectives executed a search warrant at the site. They found a sophisticated operation with several greenhouses, an irrigation system and power generators, sheriff’s officials said. Authorities seized — and destroyed — about 2,100 marijuana plants they estimate were worth about $3.5 million.
Officials arrested a 25-year-old Bakersfield man seen tending plants at the site on suspicion of conspiracy and unlawful planting. Two other people at the property fled and were not found.
Unregulated grows can be dangerous for the environment because banned pesticides and fertilizers are often used to maximize plant growth, according to sheriff’s officials. Those poisonous substances can contaminate the soil and water as well as harm animals and people.