Narcos recruit public help in Santa Barbara pot wars

On June 10, narcotic detectives began distributing a flier asking the public's help in identifying illicit marijuana operations in Santa Barbara.

SANTA BARBARA – County narcotics detectives have had a banner year over the past 12 months, having destroyed more than 325,000 illegally-grown marijuana plants with a street value in excess of $900 million.

But they want more, and they’re not shy about asking the public to help them.

Narcotics detectives with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department on Friday began distributing colorful posters and fliers calling for residents to help all law enforcement agencies in identifying and locating illegal outdoor marijuana crops.

According to department spokesman Drew Sugars, “a federal grant is paying for the production and distribution of these fliers in the hope that we’ll educate the public and that we’ll get some help finding illegal grows.”

The fliers explain in specific detail observable evidence indicating someone using either public or private lands for the cultivation of non-medicinal marijuana. They also describe the very real dangers of confronting individuals who may be observed working such crops, many of whom are armed and will defend their crops with lethal force.

“The hope is that through education and partnering with us, citizens will avoid danger and help us have an impact on illegal marijuana operations,” Sugars said.

The public is urged to contact narcotics detectives with any information regarding outdoor marijuana growing at (805) 681-4175 or via email to


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