‘Biggest in History’ Marijuana Grow Discovered in Lockwood Valley, with More in Frazier Park Area

By Patric Hedlund
FRAZIER PARK (Thursday, Aug. 10, 2010 2:30 p.m.)—Three large marijuana farms have been discovered in Lockwood Valley and in the Los Padres Forest near Frazier Park this week. On Monday and Tuesday Kern County Sheriff’s Narcotics Division personnel found two farms, one "11 miles west of the Interstate 5" and another "25 miles west of the I-5" according to a preliminary interview. On Wednesday, Ventura County Sheriff’s found "the largest marijuana operation in Ventura County history," in Lockwood Valley. Three people were arrested by Ventura County sheriffs.

Frazier Park Area:
Sgt. Michael Bonsness of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Major Violators Unit reported that on August 9 and 10 KCSO served three search warrants in a remote area of the Los Padres Forest near Frazier Park.

C.A.M.P. (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) assisted by using their helicopter to fly operators into the marijuana grows and flying eradicated marijuana and trash left by the illegal growers back out of the growing areas. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office helicopter also assisted in flying eradicated marijuana out of the grows.

Deputies and Officers from K.N.E.T. (Kern Narcotics Enforcement team), I.C.E. (Immigration Customs Enforcement), C.A.M.P., and the U.S. Forest Service, assisted in the execution of the search warrants.

No suspects were located in the marijuana grows near Frazier Park. As of this date, over 150,000 Marijuana plants have been seized in 2010 by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, their press release said.

Lockwood Valley:
According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s report: In July of this year Lockwood Valley deputies were told of a marijuana cultivation located in the Wagon Canyon area of the Los Padres National Forest near Lockwood Valley. The Sheriff’s Air Unit confirmed the validity of the report when several plots were observed. A possible access trail was identified leading from Lockwood Valley Road to the grow sites.

On August 10, Sheriff’s detectives and United States Forest Service personnel set up surveillance around the area and saw a sedan stop at the trail where a person got out of the vehicle and went into the brush. The vehicle then continued out of the area. Detectives later stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Alicia Bravo, 39 of Compton who was subsequently arrested for conspiracy to cultivate marijuana.

A short time later, a van was seen stopped at the trail. The driver spent several minutes at the location acting in a way that led investigators to believe he was involved with the illegal marijuana cultivation. The van left the area and was later stopped by detectives. The driver, Francisco Guiltron, 25 of Compton was arrested for conspiracy to cultivate marijuana.

Detectives could see a subject walking around the area of the trail to the illegal cultivation. They arrested Jaime Ayala, 35 of Compton when he attempted to flee into the darkness. He was later booked for conspiracy to cultivate marijuana.
Ayala is the roommate of Bravo and the uncle of Guiltron.

Ventura County Sheriffs report that on August 11, members of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit West County Street Team, the United States Forest Service, and the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement C.A.M.P. (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) eradicated the marijuana cultivation in Wagon Canyon. 27,961 marijuana plants were destroyed, this being the largest known single marijuana operation in Ventura County history. Investigators located a campsite although no one else was seen in the area, they said.

This is part of the August 13, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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