Los Angeles police make record $1.6b black market cannabis bust
ABC News 7 July 2021
Los Angeles police have made the largest illegal marijuana seizure in the county’s history, netting 373,000 plants that would ultimately have been worth about $US1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) on the street.
But the record bust eradicated only a fraction of the illicit “grows” in the Southern California high desert.
The problem is wide-ranging in the Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles, officials said, and has grown substantially during the coronavirus pandemic.
California assemblyman Tom Lackey said the weed was threatening the environment, public health and public safety.
“What we have, ladies and gentlemen, is an illicit weed-demic,” he said.
Armed cartel members run massive illegal grows, some spanning dozens of greenhouses, that compete with the state’s legal marijuana industry.
Multiple law enforcement agencies carried out a 10-day operation in the Antelope Valley last month that resulted in 131 arrests and the seizure of nearly 15 tonnes of harvested marijuana plants with a street value of $US1.2 billion.
Yet the undertaking only demolished 205 illegal grows out of the 500 seen by aerial surveillance in the area.
READ MORE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-08/los-angeles-black-market-cannabis-bust-record-illegal-dope-grows/100276498