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Investigators Make 'Largest' Illegal Marijuana Seizure In Lake County History

CLEARLAKE OAKS (CBS13) — The Lake County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that investigators made the "single largest seizure of processed marijuana" to date within the county this week.

The bust happened Tuesday in the small town of Clearlake Oaks, which is located along the northeast side of Clear Lake.

According to the sheriff's office, investigators were looking into reports of water theft along Henderson Drive. Three residences in the area were being used to illegally process pot for sale and were connected to the reported water theft.

Search warrants were obtained for all three residences and detectives entered each Tuesday afternoon.

The sheriff's office said approximately $7 million worth of marijuana was seized during the searches. In total, authorities seized 2,326 marijuana plants, around 7,600 pounds of processed marijuana — most of which was packaged for sale — and a 12 gauge shotgun.

See photos of the seized items below.

weed seized 1
(credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office)
weed seized 2
(credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office)
weed seized 3
(credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office)
weed seized 4
(credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Salvador Diaz Maciel, 52, was located at one of the residences and arrested. Maciel was later booked into the Lake County Correctional Facility for illegal cultivation and processing of marijuana.

"Operations such as this one pump large amounts of unregulated and untaxed cannabis into the market. They avoid the costs that legitimate growers have to encumber by stealing water, avoiding taxes, and not complying with any regulations," said Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin. "These operations adversely impact the legal industry, have negative impacts on the environment, and are frequently the cause of other criminal activity. We will continue our efforts against large-scale illegal operations such as this one."

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