Illegal Cannabis Enforcement

For Immediate Release

Sergeant Anthony Prencipe

On May 10th, 2020, The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office began enforcement on illegal marijuana grows in El Dorado County. This follows after the May 5th, 2020, County Ordinance no. 5122- Personal Cultivation of Cannabis, was passed by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. The ordinance is consistent with the regulations set forth by the State of California on the cultivation of cannabis.

Since the start of the enforcement on illegal marijuana grows, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office has served more than one hundred criminal search warrants which have resulted in the eradication of more than 126 thousand illegal marijuana plants.  The ordinance is clear regarding the number of marijuana plants per residence as 6, the search warrants that we have executed have been on illegal marijuana grows much larger than this, many consisting of thousands of marijuana plants.

We have recently seen complaints on social media regarding the Sheriff’s Office destroying property, including safes and green houses. If the contents inside of a safe are part of the search warrant, it will be searched. Safes have only been broken into when the owner refuses to provide the combination, flees the area and/or a locksmith is unavailable or unable to open the safe.  It is also common practice and for health and safety measures that “hoop houses” are dismantled due to health concerns and heat prior to the personnel beginning the eradication process. 

El Dorado County has clear laws regarding cultivation of cannabis which can be found at the below link. If you are planning to grow cannabis in El Dorado County, please follow these regulations.