On Wednesday, August 29, 2007, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Eradication Team (MET) eradicated over 14,200 mature marijuana plants from a remote area of unincorporated Cupertino.
MET partnered up with CA Department of Fish and Game, and the CA Department of Justice’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting Team (CAMP) to complete today’s operation. Eleven officers worked in over 90 degree weather to remove the plants, some nearly 9 feet tall, from the steep hillside located off of Montebello Road.
After being cut down, the plants were air lifted by helicopter to a loading zone and then into a trailer. The marijuana was transported to an undisclosed location for destruction. Although no suspects were caught at the scene, signs of a camp and kitchen were located inside the growing area.
So far this year, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office MET has seized and destroyed over 164,000 marijuana plants. The total street value of these plants is in excess of $656 million. This amount exceeds the total for last year of approximately 135,000 plants.
MET is part of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit and consists of two full-time deputies and one sergeant. The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services funds most of the program. The mission of the program is to minimize marijuana availability through investigations, crop destructions, arrests, prosecutions of cultivators and traffickers, to deter cultivation and potential growing areas and to seize and initiate forfeiture of perpetrator's assets.
Anyone having any information related to illegal indoor and/or outdoor marijuana gardens should call the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office MET Tip line at (408) 808-4420.