Marijuana Cultivation in National Forest Near Running Springs

By G. T. Houts


Running Springs, CA – The Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team conducted an operation, with the U. S. Forest Service and CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting), in the San Bernardino National Forest near Fredalba Creek. During the two-day operation, investigators found several plots of marijuana growing in the forest below Smiley Park, in Running Springs. Camping equipment and a large abundance of trash was evidence that the suspects had been living near, and caring for, the large marijuana grows.

Investigators believe members of illegal drug trafficking organizations are responsible for the marijuana grows found in the National Forest. The suspects had cleared away the natural foliage, which causes irreversible damage to the forest. They used the natural resources to facilitate and support the grow.The natural terrain and heavy brush are often used to conceal the grow sites from law enforcement officials. Natural water sources, such as creeks, and streams, serve as a water supply for the grow sites. Often times, the suspects will use fertilizers and toxic pesticides. These chemicals seep into the ground and contaminate the ground water and natural wildlife.

Investigators seized nearly 7,800 plants from the illegal grow sites. There is no suspect information at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400.