When Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies busted a pot farm in the Burr Valley area of Bridgeville, California on October 1, they found more than just greenhouses containing 463 marijuana plants and 62 pounds of already processed bud—they estimate the value of what they found at a conservative $525,000 according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.
Upon further inspection of the three properties the officers found environmental damage caused when the growers dug up and diverted a stream to access more water for their plants. The stream is a tributary to Dairy Creek, which feeds into Burr Creek, according to the Sheriff’s release.
Being that Burr Creek is salmon and steelhead habitat, California Fish and Wildlife are concerned the illegal diversion will cause sediment to flow downstream and affect the salmon and steelhead spawning area.
The water diversion also caused damage to a Native American archaeological site.
“It was evident that the prehistoric archaeological site was damaged by grading and excavation work associated with the marijuana grows,” reads the release. “An archaeologist was consulted and confirmed the items located were pre-historical Native American.”
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department has made no arrests at this time, but has identified suspects and will be pursuing charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, stream diversion and polluting a waterway.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this crime can call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip Line at 707-268-2539.