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120,000 Marijuana Plants Seized in San Diego County in 2013

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Authorities seized about 120,000 marijuana plants from 113 grow sites in the San Diego area between the beginning of 2013 and this month, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced Monday.

The busts—which also resulted in 89 arrests and confiscation of about $379,000 worth of trafficker assets—took place at 58 outdoor sites and 55 indoor ones, according to the DEA.

Over the year, investigators dealt with more hash-oil extraction labs, a growing component of illicit cannabis-cultivation networks. Members of the DEA Narcotics Task Force encountered such operations, which can be dangerously volatile, at about 75 percent of the indoor grow sites they uncovered. About half had resulted in an explosion or fire, according to federal officials.

"We are very concerned about the new trend of hash-oil extraction labs and the increasing number of indoor marijuana grow operations," said DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge William Sherman. "These operations are a significant threat to public safety, and this NTF team will continue to investigate these illegal and dangerous cultivation and manufacturing operations, most of which have direct ties to local marijuana dispensary storefronts."

—City News Service

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