LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- The Drug Enforcement Administration raided seven marijuana grow locations throughout the Antelope Valley on Friday in a multi-agency operation with local authorities.
Agents rounded up 400 pounds of processed pot, 8,962 marijuana plants, three grams of suspected meth and six guns. Eleven suspects were also taken into custody.
The operation is part of the DEA's Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, or DCE/SP, which runs such busts side-by-side with state and local law enforcement agencies. Friday's operation involved the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the California National Guard and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Nationwide, the DCE/SP's latest data show the DEA seizing 2.8 million marijuana plants and more than 315,000 pounds of processed pot in 2018.
Agents say many of the grow operations they've targeted in Southern California are aligned with Mexican drug cartels. They say the grows are also doing serious environmental damage.
"They use highly illegal toxins such as carbofuran or furadan that wreak havoc on animals and wildlife and humans that come in contact with it," one undercover DEA agent told Eyewitness News, referring to two pesticides. "A very small amount of carbofuran can kill large animals. A teaspoon is able to kill a 600-pound bear."