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Campaign Against Marijuana Planting Achieves Milestone for 2004 Eradication Season

Thursday, September 9, 2004
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Lockyer today announced the California Department of Justice's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program has surpassed the 2003 eradication season totals by 5,074 plants, bringing 2004 season totals to 471,128 plants seized. The plants are worth an estimated $1.88 billion.

Raids conducted Wednesday in Napa, Butte, Fresno and Riverside Counties tipped the year totals to exceed 2003's record-breaking year. To date, CAMP agents this year have eliminated 583 gardens, made 37 arrests and seized 56 weapons. In comparison, the total 2003 season resulted in the eradication of 892 gardens, 23 arrests and the seizure of 50 weapons. The 2004 eradication season is scheduled to end in the Fall.

"Over the years, CAMP has proven to be a successful program dedicated to eradicating large-scale illegal marijuana grows throughout California," Lockyer said. "Each year they continue to go above and beyond, breaking records season after season."

CAMP agents are broken into four teams covering Northern, Central and Southern California regions. Managed by the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, CAMP is composed of local, state and federal agencies tasked with eradicating illegal indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation and trafficking throughout California. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California National Guard and dozens of local police and sheriff departments from across the state participate in the program.

"To have reached this milestone so early is a tribute to all the hard work of law enforcement officers throughout the state, including local and federal agencies," said CAMP Commander Val Jimenez. "Trying to eliminate the problem of illegally grown marijuana scarring our lands in California requires a concentrated effort by many agencies working together."

In 2003, CAMP seized 466,054 plants worth $1.86 billion. Seizures have increased dramatically during the last five years, largely due to better deployment teams in the state; more aggressive techniques, particularly aerial transportation of officers and surveillance; and the size of gardens. In the 21-year history of the CAMP program, agents have eradicated almost 3.5 million plants with an estimated wholesale value of nearly $14 billion. The marijuana-growing season starts in mid-April with harvests ending in late September or early October.

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