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Campaign Against Marijuana Planting Seizes $1.25 Billion Worth of Plants During 2001 Season

Total of 313,776 Plants Seized; Most Linked to Organized Drug Cartels
Wednesday, December 19, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SAN JOSE) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that the 2001 California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) seized 313,776 illegal marijuana plants worth approximately $1.25 billion.<BR><BR>

Lockyer made the announcement in San Jose with California Highway Patrol Commissioner Dwight “Spike” Helmick, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith and a representative for San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley to recognize that in recent years, enormous marijuana operations have become a statewide problem.<BR><BR>

“In the last few years we have seen a major change in the way that large, illegal marijuana operations are conducted in California,” Lockyer said. “It’s no longer grown mostly along the north coast in the ‘Emerald Triangle,’ but grown all over the state, anywhere there’s cover.” <BR><BR>

CAMP uses an intense, collaborative approach involving state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies working together under the direction of the California Department of Justice to identify and eradicate large outdoor marijuana operations during the height of the growing season. <BR><BR>

During the 2001 CAMP season, law enforcement officers from more than 70 local, state and federal agencies, under the supervision of the California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, conducted 149 raids in 23 counties from late July through early October. Officers seized 313,776 marijuana plants, worth an estimated $1.25 billion, made 20 arrests, and seized 19 weapons. More than 101,000, or 32 percent of the total number of plants were seized in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Sonoma, and Napa counties. About 23 percent of all plants were seized in the Central Valley, 22 percent were seized in Northern California, and 16 percent were seized in the “Emerald Triangle” counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity. <BR><BR>

“We continue to find large operations in state and national forests or other land available to the public, which presents a dangerous situation for hikers, campers and others,” said Lockyer. “Those hired to tend the large gardens are often immigrant recruits living for weeks in modest campsites who are armed and under orders to defend their illegal crop. Our investigations indicate that about 70 percent of the plants seized this year were from gardens operated by individuals with ties to Mexican drug cartels that are also involved in the production and distribution of methamphetamine and other narcotics.”<BR><BR>

Since 1983, CAMP teams have worked each year to locate, seize, and eradicate large outdoor marijuana operations. More than 2.6 million marijuana plants with an estimated wholesale value of $9.1 billion have been seized since the program began, with more than 900,000 seized in just the last three years. A summary of CAMP seizures in 2001 and a statistical history of the program is attached.<BR><BR>

<HR>

<P CLASS="subbodyhead">2001 CAMPAIGN AGAINST MARIJUANA PLANTING STATISTICS<BR><BR>

County by County Breakdown of 2001 CAMP Season</P>
<TABLE WIDTH="100%" CELLSPACING="2" CELLPADDING="2" BORDER="0">
<TR ALIGN="LEFT">
<TH>County</TH>
<TH>Plants Seized</TH>
<TH>County</TH>
<TH>Plants Seized</TH>

</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1. Tehama</TD>
<TD>54,504</TD>
<TD>13. Lake</TD>
<TD>5,566</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>2. Santa Clara</TD>

<TD>47,574</TD>
<TD>14. Fresno</TD>
<TD>5,527</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>3. Mendocino</TD>
<TD>34,935</TD>

<TD>15. Stanislaus</TD>
<TD>5,216</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>4. San Mateo</TD>
<TD>30,409</TD>
<TD>16. Colusa</TD>

<TD>4,924</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>5. Merced</TD>
<TD>29,381</TD>
<TD>17. Kern</TD>
<TD>3,853</TD>

</TR>
<TR>
<TD>6. San Benito</TD>
<TD>18,707</TD>
<TD>18. Trinity</TD>
<TD>3,230</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>7. Sonoma</TD>

<TD>15,662 </TD>
<TD>19. Monterey</TD>
<TD>3,093</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>8. Humboldt</TD>
<TD>12,244 </TD>

<TD>20. Siskiyou</TD>
<TD>3,083</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>9. Tulare</TD>
<TD>11,091 </TD>
<TD>21. Madera</TD>

<TD>2,114</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>10. Napa</TD>
<TD>8,002</TD>
<TD>22. Riverside</TD>
<TD>171</TD>

</TR>
<TR>
<TD>11. San Joaquin</TD>
<TD>7,405</TD>
<TD>23. Santa Cruz</TD>
<TD>67</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>12. Tuolumne</TD>

<TD>7,018</TD>
<TD></TD>
<TD></TD>
</TR>
</TABLE>
<BR><BR>
<P CLASS="subbody">
<STRONG>2001 CAMP Season Summary</STRONG><BR><BR>

Total No. of Plants Seized..........................................313,776 <BR>
Estimated Wholesale Value...........................................$1.25 billion <BR>

No. of Plants Seized on Public lands................................124,216 (39.6%)<BR>
No. of Plants Seized on Private lands...............................189,560<BR>
No. of Plants Seized from Mexican National <BR>
&nbsp;&nbsp;Drug Organization Operations....................................217,354 (69.3%)<BR>
Total No. of Raids..................................................149 in 23 counties<BR>
No. of Arrests......................................................20 <BR>
No. of Weapons Seized...............................................19<BR><BR>
</P>

<STRONG>CAMP Program History</STRONG><BR><BR>

1983-2001 2,649,694 ($9.1 billion wholesale value)<BR><BR>
<TABLE WIDTH="100%" CELLSPACING="2" CELLPADDING="2" BORDER="0">
<TR ALIGN="LEFT">
<TH>Year</TH>
<TH>Plants Seized</TH>
<TH>Year</TH>
<TH>Plants Seized</TH>

</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1983</TD>
<TD>64,579</TD>
<TD>1992</TD>
<TD>92,338</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1984</TD>

<TD>158,493</TD>
<TD>1993</TD>
<TD>66,386</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1985</TD>
<TD>166,219</TD>

<TD>1994</TD>
<TD>82,694</TD>
</TR>

<TR>
<TD>1986</TD>
<TD>117,277</TD>
<TD>1995</TD>

<TD>74,769</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1987</TD>
<TD>144,661</TD>
<TD>1996</TD>
<TD>94,221</TD>

</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1988</TD>
<TD>107,297</TD>
<TD>1997</TD>
<TD>132,485</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1989</TD>

<TD>147,518</TD>
<TD>1998</TD>
<TD>135,960</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1990</TD>
<TD>79,441</TD>

<TD>1999</TD>
<TD>241,164</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>1991</TD>
<TD>85,189</TD>
<TD>2000</TD>

<TD>345,207</TD>
</TR>
</TABLE>

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