According to a Los Angeles Times report, California law enforcement officers have learned that drug traffickers from Mexico are using a banned pesticide to grow marijuana in some parts of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.
The dangerous pesticide is called carbofuran and is toxic to both humans and wildlife. It can cause permanent reproductive damage.
“These are federal lands, and they are being systematically destroyed through clear-cutting, stream diversion, chemicals and pesticides,” said U.S. Atty. McGregor Scott at a news conference. “It’s a vitally important issue.”
According to the LA Times report, the illegal grow site consisted of an estimated 6,000 marijuana plants embedded into a rugged stretch of the Sierra National Forest in Madera County, near Dutch Oven Creek.
The site was raided on Monday by U.S. Forest Service agents where two suspected drug traffickers were apprehended. At least one man had fled according to authorities. The two men were formally charged Tuesday in federal court in Fresno with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute large quantities of marijuana.