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Santa Cruz County deputies seize more than 10k unpermitted cannabis plants

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Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies seized more than 10,000 cannabis plants from two separate unpermitted grow sites in the past month, county officials said Monday.

Deputies searched a property on Summit Road near Russell Ridge on Thursday to follow up on suspicions an investigation of a neighboring property in late 2018 had aroused, county officials said.

At the time, Sheriff’s Office personnel observed several unlawful greenhouses on a parcel of land that had been stripped of vegetation. During the search, the investigators found more than 9,700 cannabis plants inside 11 greenhouses, one of the largest illegal cultivation sites in recent county history.

Investigators determined the site was managed by four people who lived full-time in a small trailer and let sewage and other household fluids run off onto the property without proper disposal.

Deputies estimated the operation had been active for at least two years.

In a separate enforcement last week, investigators searched a remote cultivation site north of Boulder Creek, which was also discovered in the investigation of a nearby site.

Deputies seized the 762 cannabis plants contained in four greenhouses on the site and contacted the operator, who cooperated with the investigation, according to the county.

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