California law enforcement has learned that Mexican drug traffickers are using a dangerous pesticide banned in the United States to grow marijuana in remote areas of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, and are going after their operations.
The pesticide, carbofuran, is toxic to wildlife and humans and can cause permanent reproductive damage. Law enforcement took reporters on a tour of one of the illegal grow sites on Tuesday, where a bottle of carbofuran could be seen.
“These are federal lands, and they are being systematically destroyed through clear-cutting, stream diversion, chemicals and pesticides,” said U.S. Atty. McGregor Scott at a news conference, where he was joined by federal, state and local officials who were part of the investigation. “It’s a vitally important issue.”
The illegal grow site consisted of an estimated 6,000 marijuana plants embedded into a rugged stretch of the Sierra National Forest in Madera County, near Dutch Oven Creek.