Are Mexican drug cartels financing drug ‘agribusiness’ in California?
Smallcomb said Michoacan crime families are paying to have young men smuggled across the border, providing them food and guns and transportation to remote marijuana plantations in rural areas of California where 10,000 or more plants are routinely grown.
So far this year, nearly 200,000 plants have been whacked down in the Mendocino National Forest. Similar amounts have been uprooted in Mendocino and Lake counties, and about 70,000 plants have been pulled in Sonoma County. In total, about 62percent of the marijuana seized this summer is from this region.
Smallcomb and other law enforcement authorities say tightened border security has crimped smuggling of Mexican-grown pot, prompting Mexican drug traffickers to underwrite the costs of growing, harvesting and distributing pot inside U.S. borders.
With six weeks or more still to go in the annual marijuana harvest, at least 1.2million pot plants worth an estimated street value of $4.5billion have been ripped up on mostly public lands.
State agent Jackie Long said the dominant forces behind the surging marijuana production are Mexican crime families, who pay well for lonely pot garden vigils in remote regions far from home.
A Mexican national can make up to $100 a day – $7,000 to $10,000 – for tending a pot plantation during the growing season. The average pay statewide for legal farmworkers doing manual labor is $8 to $11 an hour.
“We’ve had several investigations that have turned up significant evidence of local ties to the Mexican organizations,” Long said.
Long echoed state Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s contention that Mexican multidrug traffickers are using marijuana profits to finance other operations, including methamphetamine production.”
I am definitely NOT in favor of their bringing drug production into our country and my state.
kewl, that attitude lets situations become entrenched.
igi – LOL…. I feel your pain…
Daisy – I LIKE that idea!
51 it looks like they just move into National and State Park land, rather than buying it.