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Sheriff’s deputies bust Ballico marijuana grow
Ballico marijuana grow
The Merced County Sheriff’s Department confiscated more than 3,000 marijuana plants being grown in Ballico.

A large-scale marijuana growing operation in Ballico was dismantled on Friday by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.

The operation led to the arrest of two unnamed suspects and the confiscation of marijuana plants and product ready to be sold.

On Friday, the sheriff department’s Marijuana Enforcement Team served a search warrant at a home in the 8900 block of East Avenue in Ballico. During the service of the search warrant a deputy used a drone to fly over the area and watched 11 individuals run from the property as deputies arrived. Two subjects were detained during the investigation and later arrested on drug offenses.

Deputies confiscated more than 150 pounds of dried and processed marijuana and eradicated 3,496 plants from two large green houses.

Sheriff Vern Warnke used the department’s Facebook page to remind people that the Merced County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing the cultivation laws regarding marijuana that the county has put in place starting in 2018.

“All outdoor marijuana grows are illegal and will be dealt with immediately and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Additionally, you are only allowed to grow six plants indoors,” the post stated.

Anyone with questions about the laws regarding cultivation and possession of marijuana in Merced County can call the Merced County Sheriff’s Department at 385-7445.