SAN MATEO COUNTY — Authorities on Thursday announced the removal of thousands of marijuana plants from illegal grow sites on public and private lands in San Mateo County.
The 2-month-long Campaign Against Marijuana Planting netted 11,400 plants with a street value of $22.8 million, according to the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force.
Led by the California Department of Justice, the campaign was designed to eradicate large-scale grow sites on public and private lands that cause deforestation, damage wildlife habitats and pose a danger to residents.
The sites were well hidden on San Francisco Water Department and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District property near Devil’s Canyon, west of Skyline Boulevard, authorities said.
Four men were arrested in connection with the illegal grow sites: Joaquin Sanchez 38, and Joel Ochoa Sanchez, 32, both of Redwood City, and Juan Farias Galeana, 28, and Jose Antonio Mendoza, 26, both of Michoacán, Mexico.
The suspects, who were linked…