Nearly 3,000 marijuana plants seized in bust


Agents with the Napa Special Investigations Bureau arrested one man and seized more than 2,800 marijuana plants in rural Napa County last week.

The arrest and drug seizures were the result of aerial flights over rural parts of the county by the multi-agency task force in an effort to combat large-scale illicit marijuana production and armed members of drug trafficking organizations, according to the NSIB.

On Tuesday, the NSIB discovered several large-scale outdoor marijuana growing operations in remote parts of the county, including an operation just west of a winery vineyard in the 3800 block of Mount Veeder Road, agents said.

On Wednesday, agents snuck into the area and discovered a day camp, a loaded rifle, marijuana growing and drying areas and a shrine to Jesus Malverde, known as the patron saint of drug traffickers, according to the NSIB.

Agents said they seized and destroyed more than 2,800 marijuana plants found at the location and later arrested Javier Gomez, 30, who they believe was involved in the operation.

Gomez was arrested on suspicion of cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale and being armed during the commission of a felony.

Agents said they also recently spotted and destroyed large-scale growing operations west of Oakville, north of Mount St. Helena, Pope Valley and Capell Valley.

So far this year, the NSIB has destroyed more than 60,000 marijuana plants.

In 2013, the NSIB destroyed about 23,000 marijuana plants.

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