PATTERSON -- Stanislaus County drug agents dismantled a large marijuana growing operation just off of Highway 33 south of here this week.
The football-field-sized plot of land used to grow the pot was surrounded by a fence made from plywood. Outside of the fence, there were about five rows of corn growing on the side that faced the highway. Weeds surrounded the remainder of the fenced-in area.
Using a backhoe, agents loaded truckloads of marijuana plants for disposal. A sheriff's helicopter circled the area before landing next to the field for a time.
Agents at the scene would not talk and referred calls to the Modesto office of the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency. Officials there could not be reached for comment.
However, a neighbor, who did not want her name used because she's afraid of possible retaliation by those who run the operation, said she's been calling authorities weekly for two months after she saw the fence go up.
"I'm so happy to see they finally did something about it," she said.
There was an open binder attached to the fence containing papers saying the property was run by Yerba Buena Collective, a marijuana dispensary based in San Jose. A receptionist for the collective said a manager would have to provide any information; a message left for a manager was not returned.