Nearly 48 tons of pot were seized in the Perris area Thursday as Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officers arrested over four dozen people and grabbed 71 firearms, officials said Friday.
Sheriff’s officials said the search warrants were served at 56 properties under investigation for alleged illegal cultivation of cannabis. In all, 49 people were arrested on various charges.
“The emphasis of this operation was placed on the illegal cultivation sites,” Deputy Robyn Flores, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said in a news release on Friday. “Crimes associated with illegal marijuana cultivation range from theft, robbery, burglary and homicides”
The raids got underway between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., though specific locations were not disclosed.
“The mission of this operation was to combat the ongoing problem of illegal marijuana cultivation sites throughout Riverside County,” Flores said.
Several dogs also were taken and placed with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, sheriff’s officials said.
“The dogs are OK,” the sheriff’s office said in a Twitter post.
The busts come over a month after about 100 similar raids in the Anza area that netted nearly 140,000 pounds of weed. Those plants were buried at a landfill in the city of Beaumont and covered by a layer of trash.
Nearly 700 law enforcement officers in the June 5 operation seized 27 firearms and more than 3,000 pounds of processed marijuana. Eight people were arrested.