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Las Trampas Raid Nets Thousands of Marijuana Plants

Police recovered about $1 million worth in drugs, according to the East Bay Regional Parks District.

East Bay Regional Park police officers found $1 million worth of marijuana plants Friday when they raided a growing operation in a remote ravine in the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, police said.

Police said they found about 3,300 plants in the raid, which was conducted at 4 a.m. in an area between Castro Valley and San Ramon. No arrests were made.

That's a bigger than average haul, according to parks police Capt. Mark Ruppenthal. Authorities find about one such crop a year in Las Trampas – a 5,342 park with lots of trees, valleys and ravines.

Park police conduct daily patrols of the park property. The 3,300 plants were spotted by helicopter during routine patrols, Ruppenthal said. An elaborate irrigation system that tapped into the park's water supply was watering the crops.

"It used up enough water for us to notice a drain on our system," Ruppenthal said.

The irrigation system used PVC pipes to tap into natural springs and covered "quite a distance," Ruppenthal said. "It's absolutely elaborate."

The plants found Friday grew in a ravine, partially obscured by trees, police said. Marijuana needs a lot of sunlight to grow, so they can't be completely hidden.

These operations concern the park district because suspects remove  native plants and use fertilizer, poisons and pesticides, according to police.

Budgets cuts have forced the parks department to cut some positions, Ruppenthal said. But he's still not clear how much of an affect that's had on his agency's ability to patrol the area.

"We'll have a better idea in a couple of weeks," he said. "We're looking into that."

The plants were taken to an undisclosed location and destroyed.

Anyone with information about the growing operation is asked to East Bay Regional Parks Police at (510) 881-1833.

– Bay City News contributed to this report

Chumba Wamba July 17, 2011 at 02:28 PM
"I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe . . . Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy." — Daniel Webster
sarah sloan July 17, 2011 at 03:08 PM
I think I would almost rather listen to the Nazi banter than listen to someone spouse the virtues of being a drug addict.
mike July 17, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Amazing! Sarah who by all appearances is the definition of a "cyberbully" with name calling and personal attacks is given a pass for bad behaivor again very inappropriate. In her defense is at least she is offensive across the political spectrum.
mike July 17, 2011 at 05:08 PM
You are sick lady, why they let a name calling nothing like you take over these forums is beyond me. You calling me a Nazi is like the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.
sarah sloan July 17, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Oooh! That's REALLY provocative! At least I'm not going to tell on you! Nanners!

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