Police / Fire

Huge pot bust in rural San Benito County

Multi-agency raid nets tens of thousands of plants worth an estimated $225 million, plus a cache of weapons

An early-morning warrant search of a 30-acre rural property on Frye Lane south of Shore Road revealed 70,000 to 80,000 marijuana plants worth approximately $225 million, according to San Benito County Sheriff Captain Eric Taylor. Approximately 30 people fled the property, where marijuana plants were being grown within a corn crop to hide their presence. Twelve suspects were detained and arrested in the July 23 raid.

Officers from the county sheriff's office, the United Narcotic Enforcement Team (UNET), the Hollister Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team participated in the operation, during which agents also located approximately 800-1,000 pounds of drying and processed marijuana.  With a value of $2,500 to $3,000 per pound, the yield of the processed crop is estimated at $2 million to $3 million.

The dozen arrested suspects were booked in the San Benito County Jail on various charges.  This investigation is ongoing and more information will follow, Taylor said, adding, "As of the time of this release we have seized the following: three assault rifles (one AK-47 Rifle, one SKS rifle, one AR-15 rifle), multiple high-capacity rifle magazines, two handguns, ones shotgun, ammunition and military-grade body armor. We have reached out to the Department of Fish and Wildlife as there appears to be pollution to an adjacent creek by large amounts of fertilizer runoff and human feces. Water may also have been diverted illegally to the grow site."

BenitoLink Staff