Prosecutors Step up Targeting of Illegal Pot Farms in California

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A contaminated pond is left behind in an illegal marijuana grow area in Northern California. (Credit: Humboldt County Sheriff's Department)

A contaminated pond is left behind in an illegal marijuana grow area in Northern California. (Credit: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department)

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Top federal and state prosecutors in California raised alarms Tuesday over the growing problem of illegal marijuana farms — including many tied to Mexico-based drug cartels — in remote public forests and parks.

They promised a stepped-up effort to shut them down.

“We are going to do everything in our power to get after this problem as vigorously and as strongly as we possibly can,” U.S. Atty. McGregor W. Scott told gathered law enforcement officials and reporters at the federal courthouse in Sacramento on Tuesday.

He said U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has taken a “keen interest” in the problem and got Congress to recently allocate $2.5 million for greater enforcement efforts, while the California National Guard is assigning 70 more people to help with eradication efforts. State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, who has criticized Sessions over immigration enforcement and other issues, on Tuesday welcomed the partnership with federal prosecutors.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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