Glenn County’s Marijuana Enforcement Team and the Glenn Interagency Narcotics Task Force moved in on the operation Sunday after confirming that the area was once again being used to illegally cultivate marijuana, according to a GLINTF press release.
Agents located approximately 3,114 marijuana plants as well as some processed marijuana, according to authorities. The garden reportedly has a street value of $3 million.
Agents arrested Antonio Villegas, 34, of Livingston, after observing him drop off bags and an unknown person near a trail being reportedly used to access the marijuana garden, according to GLINTF.
Villegas had an outstanding warrant out of Merced County. He is also facing additional charges relating to the marijuana garden.
Two days later, the agencies arrested three other individuals with help from the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
According to authorities, two of the three men were located in the garden site and were detained after attempting to run from agents.
Jesus Guadalupe Mascorro, 31, of Livingston, and Genaro Campos Santacruz, 31, of Modesto were arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, criminal conspiracy, resisting arrest and illegal entry.
The third suspect was able to escape, but was located at about 1 p.m. by the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office after receiving a call from a citizen about a suspicious person near the Cal Fire station in Elk Creek, according to the press release.
Jorge Luis Sanchez, 43, of Merced, was also arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, criminal conspiracy, resisting arrest and illegal entry.
Large amounts of trash, supplies and black plastic tubing were cleaned from the area.
Fertilizer and chemicals will also be removed to avoid the substances making their way into waterways.
USFS personnel rehabilitated the area.