(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced the California Department of Justice’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program has broken the 2004 eradication season totals by 13,426 plants, bringing 2005 season totals to 634,741 plants seized. The plants are worth an estimated $2.54 billion.
Raids conducted Tuesday in Tuolumne, Fresno and Trinity counties pushed season totals past 2004's record-breaking year. So far this year, CAMP agents have eradicated 374 gardens, made 16 arrests and seized 53 weapons; in contrast to the 2004 season totals of 757 gardens, 41 arrests and 53 seized weapons.
“The CAMP program is the largest, most successful marijuana eradication program in the nation,” Lockyer said. “This record is the result of the hard work of state, local and federal law enforcement officers and their dedication to protecting California’s citizens and the environment from illegal marijuana gardens.”
CAMP agents are divided into five teams covering Northern, Central and Southern California regions. Headed by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, CAMP includes local, state and federal agencies that work to eradicate illegal indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation and trafficking throughout California. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California National Guard, California Department of Fish and Game and dozens of local police and sheriff departments from across the state participate in the program.
“CAMP's success can largely be attributed to the cooperative efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement,” said CAMP commander Michael Johnson. “These numbers demonstrate that the illegal drug trade is still a big problem in California. However, they also serve to inspire us to work that much harder to solve the problem.”
During the 2004 CAMP eradication season, 621,315 plants were seized worth $2.5 billion. Seizures continue to increase dramatically, largely due to more deployment teams throughout the state; more aggressive techniques, particularly aerial transportation of officers and surveillance; and the size of gardens. In the 22-year history of the CAMP program, agents have eradicated over four million plants with an estimated wholesale value of more than $16 billion.