Central California Marijuana-Growing Operation Stole Reservation Water

Authorities have torn out an illegal marijuana operation in Central California that they say was siphoning water from streams that supply an American Indian tribe.

Lt. Patrick Foy of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday the growers created seven reservoirs -- some capable of storing 5,000 gallons -- that relied on water from the Tule River Tribe. The tribe's reservation is in the Sierra Nevada foothills 70 miles northeast of Bakersfield.

No arrests were made in the five-day operation, but Foy says officials cleared out nearly 14,000 plants, 10 miles of plastic irrigation pipes and 12,000 pounds of trash, including propane tanks and car batteries.

Members of the tribe had discovered the illegal grow and reported it to state officials.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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