Authorities seized more than 16,000 plants Friday morning from a large outdoor marijuana grow spread out over private timber lands near Garberville.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office's Community Response Unit and Special Weapons and Tactics team responded to a report of a large marijuana cultivation around 7 a.m. on Friday, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies spent about four hours at the site.
According to a press release, the site was located on private timber lands about 4.5 miles from Garberville on Sprowel Creek Road. Deputies spotted four suspects who fled on foot. While deputies searched the area, they were unable to locate the suspects.
Sgt. Kevin Miller said deputies weren't able to get a description of the suspects, and no identification materials were found on site.
He said the 16,465 marijuana plants seized were found in small batches in the area, along with four campsites.
”It was pretty spread out over a wide area -- over several different plots, all connected by trail systems.” he said.
The deputies did not find any weapons or equipment other than camping gear. Miller said some of the campsites were larger, and one had a table set up, while other campsites just had a sleeping bag or a makeshift platform. There was also a lot of garbage, he said.
”We've been seeing an increase of that over the last several years -- where there's a large number of plants that are kind of spread out over the place -- on public lands and on private timber lands,” Miller said.
The case is under investigation, and anyone with information can contact the sheriff's office at 445-7251.