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Congressman Mike Garcia is determined to wipe out illegal marijuana grows

PALMDALE — Congressman Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, is reiterating his commitment to eradicate illegal marijuana grows in the Antelope Valley.

Garcia, who will be in Leona Valley, on Saturday morning, at a community forum on the topic with Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Sheriff Alex Villanueva, brought national attention to the hundreds of illegal marijuana cultivation sites in the Antelope Valley last year.

“We’ve done a good job of knocking them down,” Garcia said in a telephone phone call, Wednesday morning.

Garcia, who represents the 25th Congressional District, remains committed to ensuring the problem is eradicated. A massive, multi-agency law enforcement operation in the Antelope Valley last June resulted in more than 130 arrests and the seizure of marijuana with a street value of more than $1.19 billion, according to Villanueva.

“The big thing is we changed the risk vs. reward matrix a little bit for them,” Garcia said. “So there are now actually people going to jail; there actually are now people losing their water trucks. So there is a lot of risk now involved with this.”

Some of the people involved with the illegal cultivation sites have moved on to other areas, or to a different business plan. Moving the problem to another community is not the solution, however, Garcia acknowledged.

“One of the things that we need to do is make sure that the state has still a felony charge option for certain amounts of this stuff,” Garcia said.

Garcia is up for re-election this November. Under the new Congressional district maps approved by the state in December, Garcia will run to represent the new 27th District.

The new map combines nearly all of the Los Angeles County portion of the Antelope Valley. The existing District 25 map covers the southern half of the Valley and extends across the Santa Clarita and Simi valleys.

“The priority is constituent services and it always is that,” Garcia said. “I’m just super proud of my team and what we’ve been able to do for the citizens of the Antelope Valley.”

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Julie Drake on Antelope Valley Press

Published: January 21, 2022

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