More than 10,200 marijuana plants were discovered in San Bernardino National Forest near Marble Canyon, Arctic Canyon and East Fork Canyon, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Camping equipment and trash was found near the large plots of marijuana — authorities believe people were living in the area to take care of the marijuana plants. The suspects are believed to be part of an illegal drug trafficking organization.
“The suspects cleared away the natural foliage to facilitate the cultivation’s, which causes irreversible damage to the forest,” police said. “Natural water sources, such as creeks and streams, serve as a water supply for the grow sites.”
Police added: “Often times, the suspects will use fertilizers and toxic pesticides, some of which have been outlawed in the United States. These substances can seep into the ground and contaminate the ground water and impact natural wildlife.”
No information on the suspect was available at this time. Authorities warn hikers that if they come across plots of marijuana to contact the police immediately.