Feds uncover marijuana grow in Fresno County

September 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Federal Agents and Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies discovered a large outdoor marijuana growing operation hidden between forty acres of vineyards, melons, and vegetable gardens off Muscat and West in Fresno County.

12 farm workers were questioned, identified and released. Local authorities were working under Operation Mercury, a federal mission that targets marijuana being grown under the guise of medical use.

Some four thousand plants were ready for harvest, totaling between $12 and $15 million.

Paul Green, who lives down the street from the orchard, said it was "about time" and that he consistently saw and heard "big trucks coming in and out of there late at night". Deputies tell Action News, investigators have been watching this grow since it was first planted. They also say medical recommendation cards were found at the scene.

Under proposition 215 which was passed by California voters, marijuana is legal for medicinal use, but under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. Federal law will always trump state jurisdiction.

ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi says state law, as it pertains to medicinal marijuana - isn't clear. He says "at this point, proposition 215 and what's happening with the medical dispensaries, it's gotten out of hand and I think the federal government has said enough is enough, we're not going to allow this anymore".

Neighbors say the grow off Muscat and West threatened legitimate crops.


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