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Thousands of pot plants wiped out in Montecito

By Claire Scholl, NewsChannel 3 Assignment Editor, assignmentdesk@keyt.com
John Palminteri, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
Published On: Jul 12 2013 02:46:41 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 12 2013 11:02:16 PM CDT

7,000 marijuana plants were found near the Romero Canyon trail by the Santa Barbara Sheriff Department.

MONTECITO, Calif. -

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies spent Friday morning removing a large marijuana growing operation.

It was the second of two fields located in the Romero Canyon area of the Montecito foothills.  The first was located a week ago.

Multiple sheriff's units were on scene.  They were joined by the U.S. Forest Service and National Guard. The sheriff's helicopter made multiple airlifts of baskets filled with pot from the canyon.

Many residents in the normally quiet, gated homes were nervously watching.

One suspect seen in the area, got away and is the focus of patrol units in the area.

Sheriff officials have not released  the total value of the roughly 7000 pot plants  removed.

"It is quite an extensive operation that involves many boots on the ground and air support to pull this off," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokesperson Kelly Hoover.

The impacts were noticeable from the ground and the air.

"There was also a significant amount of trash, propane, rat poisoning,  food, clothing.. there was evidence of a camp set up," said Hoover. "They are also bringing in dangerous  chemicals and trash to our area."

The plants chopped down were three to six feet tall.

A pot field was located in this same general area in 2011.

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