Raids target nine suspected pot grows in Merced, Snelling

October 12, 2012 

Operation Mercury has resulted in nine more raids of suspected illegal marijuana grows in Merced County this past week, according to deputy Tom MacKenzie, Merced County sheriff's spokesman.

The largest pot bust was at a home on Franklin and Highway 140 in Merced, where narcotics agents cleared out 100 marijuana plants and seized about 50 pounds of processed marijuana. No arrests were made and charges are pending, MacKenzie said.

Five other locations in Merced and three in Snelling were searched this past week, yielding small amounts of marijuana and no arrests.

According to MacKenzie, many of the owners eradicated their pot grows when agents showed up at their door.

Authorities said they are still receiving daily phone calls and tips about illegal marijuana-growing operations, and there's no projected end date for Operation Mercury.

"Operation Mercury is going to continue and be ongoing as long as the outdoor growing season continues," said Special Agent Casey Rettig of the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Francisco.

-- Ramona Giwargis

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