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Big pot bust in Lake County

Lake County law enforcement officers Thursday seized 181 pounds of processed marijuana, 660 pounds of drying marijuana, 215 mature pot plants, 10 firearms and $73,220 from a home in Nice.

"They're organized crime," Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero said, basing his opinion on the size of the operation and the weapons found while serving a search warrant Thursday.

It's among the larger operations found at a single residence in a populated area, he said.

Rivero said it's indicative of an overall effort by organized crime to move operations out of the woods and into homes and back yards, hoping to blend in with medicinal pot growers.

Rivero said he doesn't tolerate any kind of large-scale pot growing, medicinal or otherwise.

"I'm going to go after these guys," he said.

Three men were arrested during the operation: Mark Christopher Ramsey, 49, of Nice; Ricky Huie, 50, of Whitney, and Jaime Rodriguez, 39, of New York.

Sheriff's deputies also seized three sets of night vision devices, a money counter, methamphetamine and cocaine while searching the residence, located on the Nice-Lucerne cutoff.

He said hundreds of thousands of marijuana plants have been seized in Lake County this year. A specific count was not available.

(Contact Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or glenda.anderson@pressdemocrat.com.)


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