EL PORTAL -- Yosemite National Park rangers and the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office raided a marijuana site in El Portal Tuesday morning, seizing more than 3,600 mature plants. Two Mexican men, who were in the United States illegally, were arrested during the raid, Yosemite officials said. One of the men was armed with a loaded .45-caliber pistol concealed under his clothing. Both men were wearing camouflage.
The site was on land in both Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest. The street value of the seized marijuana is estimated at $14.6 million, according to Yosemite officials. Plants ranged in size from 1-foot-tall to mature plants up to 10-feet tall. Several pounds of processed marijuana were also removed from the site.
The drug operation caused damage to the native vegetation and landscape, with hose lines, fertilizer, trash and human waste strewn throughout the area.
Both suspects are currently in custody awaiting charges to be filed.