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Record Numbers Of Marijuana Plants Seized In Public Lands And Forests

Special Agent Ralph Partridge spoke to reporters about drug trafficking in San Diego on Nov. 30.
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Above: Special Agent Ralph Partridge spoke to reporters about drug trafficking in San Diego on Nov. 30.

— Planting season is over but marijuana plants are still being found throughout Southern California.

Between January and November of this year, more than 84,000 plants were seized on private lands, and 120,000 in areas belonging to the Forestry Service.

Ralph Partridge, Special Agent in Charge at the San Diego Division of the DEA said the agency has information pointing to Mexican cartels.

"There are drug trafficking organizations that are doing this and obviously they're funded somehow," Partridge said, referring to a trend that he said is growing throughout the Southwest. "But we don't pinpoint a certain cartel to the growths here in San Diego County."

According to a recent report by the Department of Justice, Mexican traffickers are expanding and shifting outdoor cultivation operations eastward into Arizona, Tennessee and, even Wisconsin and Michigan.

The groups appear to be moving to those areas in response to improved outdoor grow site detection capabilities and heightened eradication efforts.

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