Over the course of several years, marijuana groves have been identified and destroyed in the foothills and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains above Springville.
There are three main roads and/or highway leading into Springville, giving access to its foothills and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, namely; Highway 190, Balch Park Road and Yokohl Valley Road.
Residents living along Highway 190, Balch Park Road and Yokohl Valley Road need to be observant as to the vehicles traveling up and down their roadways, especially if they are vehicles carrying a large load of irrigation pipe, drip system tubing, generators, etc. Better to report “suspicious” vehicles than not at all. Always try to get the license plate number, along with the description of vehicle and its occupants.
Residents that live in the foothills that have a vast number of acreage should scope out their property from time to time, especially if your property has or is near to a river, stream or lake. Marijuana groves need water. Listen for unusual noise, especially generators. Look for tire tracks, brush beaten down, paths cleared and brushed over as to cover up footprints.
Don’t approach groves or growers, immediately call local law enforcement officers.
Today, marijuana production on national forest lands poses substantial risks to employees, the public, and the environment. Many of the marijuana operations on public lands are associated with organized crime. The potential for violent confrontations is high. People, unknowingly, who have entered areas where marijuana was being grown have been confronted, threatened, and shot at by armed growers. Growers have killed people they felt were threatening their grow sites or their security.
Should you suspect or identify marijuana grows on national forest lands and agricultural lands in your community, report the suspicious activity to local law enforcement officers.
How to Spot a Grow House in a Neighborhood
Yes, it's marijuana, right in your neighborhood.
A grow house is one set up to grow marijuana inside under lights. No neighborhood wants one of these illegal operations on the street. Criminals can set up a grow house in any neighborhood, even upscale areas. Here's how to figure out if there's a grow house or grow op on your neighborhood.
If you notice unusual wires run from power lines to the house, it may be a grow house for marijuana.
Power companies look for homes using excessive amounts of electricity such as a grow house does. To avoid detection of their criminal activities, the grow house is usually wired illegally to the utility lines to avoid the power company notifying the police. Listen for the sound of generators. That's another way that grow houses get around the suspicious power companies.
Because the lights are on day and night, the windows may be all covered so the neighbors won't notice. Do you have a neighbor that never opens the blinds or curtains? This does not automatically make it a grow house, but could be a possible indicator of illegal activity.
Without obviously monitoring their coming and going, note if the people going in and out of the suspected house don't follow the normal routine. Do they never carry groceries into the house?
Does it appear that no one really lives in the house? Do people only come to the house for a few minutes or an hour? The people may avoid interacting with the neighbors.
If they don't seem to have an obvious job schedule, but still drive fancy cars, you might wonder if they have illegal income.
Have structural changes been made to the house like bars on the windows or extra air vents?
When the work was done on the house, was it done in a surreptitious manner at odd hours or late at night?
Does the house and yard seem neglected in general? Is the lawn mowed regularly, the snow removed in winter, and is trash put out at regular intervals? If not, the house may not be actually occupied and just be in use as a grow house.
If you observe bags of potting soil and fertilizer stacked around and pots, but the yard does not give the appearance of being tended by anyone interested in gardening, then you may wonder what they are up to. It could be raising marijuana illegally.
Some grow houses actually have people living in them and they just use one room for growing marijuana or the basement or a shed. These houses may have some of the indicators and not others. Notice if there is a shed or one room of the house that always has lights on. The shed may have hoses running into it or electrical cords or a generator.
When the wind is blowing from the direction of the suspected house, notice if there is any obvious smell.
Notice if the house has added various security measures, like putting up fencing or keeping a dog in the yard. This may be to guard their criminal operation from outsiders.
Should you suspect a “grow house” contact our local law enforcement officers. Don’t confront the occupants; let the local law enforcement agencies do their job.