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VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (CNS) – Authorities shut down an illegal marijuana-growing operation in Valley Center Friday, seizing thousands of live plants along with products made from harvested cannabis.

Deputies, including SWAT officers, served a search warrant at the grow site in the 29000 block of Cole Grade Road shortly after 7:30 a.m., according to sheriff’s officials.

In addition to confiscating about 15,000 living marijuana plants, deputies impounded 9 1/2 pounds of processed cannabis products and detained seven people for questioning, Sgt. Mike Davis said.

Assisting in the enforcement operation were utility, code-compliance and state Fish and Wildlife personnel who “discovered numerous violations on the property (posing) immediate health and safety risks, as well as fire dangers,” according to Davis.

“It is not uncommon for investigators to find dangerous chemicals, illegal pesticides and other hazardous materials used at unlicensed marijuana grow sites,” the sergeant said. “These dangerous materials may enter the local groundwater supply and streams, creating extreme environmental hazards.”

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