Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
MassCops Angel
Joined
·
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - More than 90,000 marijuana plants were seized this year in rural Utah, and police say drug cartels may be planning more pot farms for next summer.
Federal drug enforcers say cartels accustomed to the West Coast appear to have moved some operations to Utah, which has a suitable climate and relative proximity to California and Mexico.
"These are large-scale, narco-traffickers," said Scott Burns, the deputy "drug czar" at the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. "These are the big guys."
Beginning in mid-August, federal and local law enforcement raided a slew of marijuana fields. The latest seizure came Oct. 18, when deer hunters found a pot farm in Sanpete County. But on Thursday, a special agent for the U.S. Forest Service said a rancher reported finding a harvested marijuana field in the Dixie National Forest, and it appears the growers got away with the crop.
At least seven people accused of tending the fields or delivering supplies have been arrested.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has said the marijuana likely was destined for out-of-state metropolitan areas.
Utah's appeal to pot farmers may result from tighter borders and successful crackdowns in other states. When the federal government increased security at the Mexican border after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Mexican cartels moved their marijuana-growing operations into the United States, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center.
Burns, a former Iron County prosecutor, said the federal government has emphasized eradicating marijuana fields from seven big-producing states: California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. The focus has increased seizures and hurt the cartels, Burns said.he reward.
Burns says cartels moved to Utah because of the vast, secluded public lands. Burns said previous experience with marijuana-growing operations has shown cartels look at maps for suitable spots then send someone to conduct reconnaissance.
Michael Root, a supervisory special agent with the DEA, said some of the Utah fields were built around springs. At other fields, Root said, the growers created irrigation systems. Root said federal agents and police have found fields with narrow plastic pipes connected to creeks a half-mile away.
Burns said many of the marijuana-growing cartels are from Michoacán, Mexico, and that's where they recruit the field hands. In most cases, the workers know they are being smuggled into the U.S. to grow marijuana, Burns said, though they may not know the top bosses or the name of the cartel.
In the U.S., the workers are taken to the fields and left there for months at a time. Burns said the field hands can earn $5,000 to $10,000 for three months of tending and living beside the marijuana.
The DEA has said it found some Utah marijuana plots this year by following a man who delivered supplies. But that delivery man never visited the fields found in Sanpete County and another found in Sevier County. That indicates there are multiple cartels growing marijuana in Utah, said Jeff Whatcott, commander of Central Utah Narcotics Task Force. Whatcott said he and his colleagues are discussing how to be proactive, find existing fields and police his six-county area against new plantings.
"It's still like looking for a needle in a haystack," Whatcott said.
Burns said Utah and federal authorities need to fly more aircraft looking for marijuana and educate hunters, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts on signs of a marijuana field. "It might take a couple years to send a message [to the cartels], 'Don't come here,' " Burns said.

Wire Service
 

·
Undefined
Joined
·
2,255 Posts
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has said the marijuana likely was destined for out-of-state metropolitan areas.
Utah's appeal to pot farmers may result from tighter borders and successful crackdowns in other states.
Wire Service
Send it to Mass!!!!! We now have a much bigger demand!

Those crackdowns must have been in some other state that actually gave a rats ass about the quality of life for it's constituants (*sp?).
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top