SUTTER COUNTY, CA - A massive marijuana bust early Wednesday took close to a $1 million worth of pot off the streets.
The raid happened on the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, thanks to a tip from a farmer.
The farmer thought land next to the Sutter bypass was being used to cultivate marijuana. However, when the narcotics team arrived, there were no pot plants to be found.
Instead of moving on, the team began surveillance and soon found people planting pot for this season.
"We set up a little observation post and watched them come in by boat in the evening," Department of Justice Mike Hudson said.
The narcotics team is the Net 5 task force, also known as the Narcotics Enforcement Team. It's made up of the Yuba County Sheriff's Department, the Sutter County Sheriff's Department, Marysville Police, California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice.
"They come out and just clear cut an area," Hudson said. "After they harvest it, they leave."
During the raid, 757 marijuana plants were uprooted and confiscated. Because of the high quality of the plants, Hudson estimates the value at close to $1 million.
At the same time agents were pulling plants, others were at three homes in Sacramento County; two in the city limits and one in Elk Grove.
Five people were arrested. Richard Fong, Sam Chong, Khung Nim, Dong Chong and Phong San were arrested. They are being held in the Sutter and Sacramento county jails.
The Net 5 Team also found that the grow operation began in a bedroom at the Elk Grove house.
At the home, 123 plants were found in an indoor grow operation. Elk Grove Police Department Sgt. Dan Davis said it's safe to assume that once the plants were mature enough, some would be cloned and grown in Sutter County.
"One of the rooms had some really mature plants that were ready for harvest," Davis said.
With so many marijuana plants found in Sutter County, the Net 5 team called in a helicopter to help transport the weed out of a wooded area and into a clearing.
"It's a good day, it's a good day for law enforcement," Hudson. "The devastation they leave behind is just immense."
By Nick Monacelli, email@example.com