“I have been working narcotics since the ’90s and this is one of the largest busts I’ve ever seen,” said Commander Norm Wielsch of the Contra Costa County Narcotics Enforcement Team. “We’ve definitely put a dent in somebody’s business, at least for a while.”
Wielsch said the mature plants were hidden between the rows of corn stalks on approximately 100 acres of private fields on Orwood Road. Detectives from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Campaign Against Marijuana Task Force from the Dublin, San Ramon and Walnut Creek police departments descended on the property around 6 a.m. Thursday morning. They found a deserted encampment near the crops.
“I think they (the growers) heard us coming and had time to take off,” said Wielsch, who added that the owners of the property live out of town and are not connected with the case. “The chances of us finding them are, I’d say, slim to none; you can’t pull prints off the plants. But we’ve had a few leads and we’ll see where it goes.”
The 14,792 plants, varying in size from four to 15 feet tall, were confiscated and buried in an undisclosed landfill site.