Pot plant seizures down 40% this year

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SAN DIEGO — Seizures of illegal marijuana plants in San Diego County are down about 40 percent this year, a sign of progress in the war on drugs, authorities said Monday.

marijuanaPlantOfficials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration attribute the drop in seizures this year to better investigating with high tech tools and a new emphasis on going after the people who organize and finance growing operations instead of just arresting the people who tend the marijuana fields.

Federal and local law enforcement officers have seized nearly 100,000 marijuana plants at 100 cultivation sites in San Diego County so far this year, according to the DEA.

As part of the cannabis eradication efforts, investigators arrested 105 suspects and seized trafficker assets valued at about $913,300, DEA officials said.

Of the 97,399 marijuana plants confiscated at 40 outdoor sites and 60 indoor locations, a total of 24,016 were removed from public property, including U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management holdings.

“Our main focus is to arrest and prosecute the drug-trafficking organizations responsible for damaging lands and putting our citizens at risk,” said William Sherman, acting special agent in charge of the DEA’s San Diego-area office.

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