KITTITAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S NEWS RELEASE -- Sheriff Gene Dana showcased his newest military surplus vehicle today during a Marijuana Eradication Operation in Manastash Canyon which yielded over 13,500 plants.
Sheriff Dana voiced satisfaction in stating that "this operation, the largest single grow in Kittitas County, prevented over ten million dollars worth of illegal marijuana from reaching the streets."
During a joint investigation involving the Sheriff's Office, DNR and the Marijuana Eradication Team (WSP, DEA & National Guard) a large Marijuana Grow was discovered on Department of Natural Resource Lands in the Manastash Canyon.
Before daylight yesterday morning, members of the Kittitas County Special Response Team and the Eradication Recon Team secured the grow site, where they located food, clothing and camping equipment. No suspects were located.
Noted in the attached photographs, a contract helicopter lifted the tactical teams into the grow area and later hauled the marijuana, growing supplies and trash out to transport vehicles.
One of the vehicles used was a newly acquired 5-ton which Sheriff Dana obtained through military surplus, at no cost, for emergency management operations.
Per the Undersheriff, the illegal activities generate money for drug cartels and negatively impact our community. The people directly involved present a physical risk to citizens living or recreating in the areas and the landscape is destroyed by terracing and the removal of native vegetation.
"One of our largest concerns is the fact that these types of grows nearly always pollute the streams and groundwater in the area as the growers use chemicals which drain directly into the stream."
"These operations also impact our local resources such having to shut down road construction during the investigation. And though we appreciate it greatly, a medical aid unit and fire suppression team from Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue had to be kept on station for most of the day"
The attached photographs depict some of the operations, such as deputies cutting plants, plants being lined into the Sheriff's Surplus truck and two of the Sheriff's SRT members being lined into the grow.