Valley News -

Sheriff receives OK to continue cannabis elimination ops


Last updated 5/18/2018 at 12:25pm

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors authorized county Sheriff Stan Sniff to accept a $160,000 federal grant that will pay for ongoing operations to eliminate illegal marijuana grows countywide and assist the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with intelligence-gathering on illicit growers and their product.

The board’s 5-0 vote will permit the sheriff to assign deputies in what remains of the current fiscal year, as well as all of 2018-2019, to the Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Program.

“The (grant) will allow the sheriff’s department to continue … efforts in eradication and suppression of illicit cannabis by gathering intelligence data related to illicit cultivation on private and public lands, possession and distribution of illicit cannabis,” according to an agency statement. “Through these efforts, the health and welfare of the residents and businesses of Riverside County will be greatly improved.”

The grant funds will cover overtime and other expenses when deputies physically engage in destruction of illegal grows, of which officials believe there are hundreds, if not thousands, of varying size countywide. Funding will also support the gathering and retention of statistics regarding elimination operations, as well as arrests and evidence collection required for state and federal prosecutions, according to sheriff’s documents.

Deputies will be further responsible for procuring samples from grows to submit to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Potency Monitoring Project, enabling researchers to develop scientific methods for combating illegal drug

activity, according to sheriff’s documents.

DEA agents and deputies will work in concert during some drug trafficking investigations, per the terms of the grant.

Sheriff’s officials said the eradication and suppression program has been active in Riverside County for 30 years.


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