100+ local pot plantations raided in 2014

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SAN DIEGO — Federal and local law officers have seized nearly 132,000 marijuana plants from more than 100 illicit cultivation sites in the San Diego area this year, authorities reported Wednesday.

As part of their efforts to combat local cannabis trafficking, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, sheriff’s deputies and other officers also have arrested 129 suspects and impounded assets valued at roughly $323,000 so far in 2014.

In all, the agencies removed about 58,900 marijuana plants from public land in San Diego County between Jan. 1 and early December, DEA officials announced during a late-morning briefing.

Investigators also broke up 50 indoor growing operations. About two thirds of the indoor grow operations also had hash oil extraction labs. Seven of them were discovered because of a fire or explosion in the makeshift labs.

Creation of hash oil, a process that typically involves butane, is “a significant threat to public safety,” according to William Sherman, special agent in charge of the San Diego DEA office.

“We remain very concerned about the indoor cultivation of marijuana and hash-oil extraction labs,” he said.