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Nothing to crow about: Cops bust illegal weed grow and suspected rooster fighting ring

May 9, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

More than 1,000 cannabis plants and 160 roosters found on California property

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Two recent searches at a California property revealed not only an illegal cannabis grow more than 1,000 plants strong, but also an illicit rooster fight ring.

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On Apr. 20, officers with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office’s (CCSO) Marijuana Enforcement Unit served a search warrant in Burson, Calif.

While the unit’s investigation proved a success — deputies found 1,008 marijuana plants valued at more than $84,500, weed seedlings in a nearby trailer and seven firearms (one of them documented as stolen) — the roosters were likely an unexpected discovery.

  1. One of the illegal grow-ops found in Anza, Calif. /

    California authorities clear out thousands of illegal cannabis plants and two tons of weed

  2. Both recreational and medicinal cannabis is legal in California, but that doesn’t mean limitations don’t exist. /

    California warrant uncovers almost 4,000 cannabis plants at illegal grow

  3. It was expected to take days for police to process the evidence. /

    California police take down weed grow-op more than 100,000 plants strong

That find spurred detectives to obtain a second warrant, according to CCSO.

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Executed in collaboration with Calaveras County Animal Services and the Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office, officials searched the property for items related to illegal rooster fighting activities and found more than 160 roosters on site.

California allows adults 21 and older to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. Commercial grows, though, must be licensed and a large number of counties in the state do not allow any form of outdoor cultivation.

Commercial cannabis grows in California must be licensed and obey local cultivation rules. /
Commercial cannabis grows in California must be licensed and obey local cultivation rules. / Photo by Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office

Breaking the cultivation rules can potentially result in a felony charge for certain individuals, notes information from Shouse California Law Group. These include defendants who have two or more prior convictions for cultivating more than six marijuana plants and those who violate certain California environmental laws in their marijuana cultivation activities.

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As for the animals, CCSO reports that each rooster was either banded as evidence, and left on the property, or collected. The animals remaining on-site “will be routinely inspected by law enforcement and animal services pending the disposition of the criminal case,” the statement notes.

A 71-year-old man was issued a citation for charges of illegal cannabis, possession of marijuana for sale and conspiracy to commit crime, per CCSO. A 45-year-old woman was cited on charges of animal cruelty for amusement or gain, possession of bird-fighting equipment, possessing/keeping/training birds for fighting and conspiracy to commit crime, the police statement adds.

Aerial view of cannabis operation in hoop houses. /
Aerial view of cannabis operation in hoop houses. / Photo by Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office

It’s not the first time that illegal cannabis has led to an illegal cockfighting ring in California. In July 2020, police in Glenn County found evidence of the illegal ring after executing a warrant on suspected cannabis grow.

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The opposite was true in the spring of 2020 in the Philippines. Members of the Benguet Provincial Mobile Force were, in fact, looking for a suspected illegal cockfight when they discovered a cannabis farm site housing about 80 plants.

Calaveras county is also no stranger to big bud busts. Calaveras Enterprise reported this past March that the CCSO seized over $10 million worth of illegal cannabis plants and processed bud over a three-day stretch that month. Furthermore, the efforts led to three grows being eradicated.

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