MORGAN HILL (CBS SF) – SWAT teams stormed a farm in Morgan Hill Wednesday, busting a massive illegal marijuana grow operation and seizing weapons.
The farm is located on Dougherty Avenue near Highway 101 and the Coyote Creek Golf Club.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that the operation involved their marijuana eradication team.
Chopper 5 was overhead when a small army of law enforcement officers shot concussion grenades into the trailer homes at the grow operation.
Two armored vehicles were on scene as the swat teams stormed inside, looking for suspects. At least one person was taken away in handcuffs.
Neighbor Peg Horan was home at the time.
Horan lives across the street and saw the drama unfold starting early Wednesday morning, when the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Marijuana Eradication Team served a search warrant on the large farm on the outskirts of Morgan Hill.
“It’s scary and sad. These are my neighbors that I’ve known for years,” said Horan.
12 people, some wearing straws hats and dressed for field work, were detained while deputies got to work with chain saws and loppers cutting marijuana plants and dumping load after load onto trailers.
But authorities have their work cut out for them. There are thousands of plants filling greenhouses that cover several acres of land.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff also confirmed that 21 firearms were recovered during the raid.
Growing marijuana for personal use is OK according to state law, but commercial farms are still illegal in unincorporated Santa Clara County.
Back in August, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors debated legalizing commercial farms, but voted it down 3-2.
Neighbor Bill Hughes wants to keep it that way.
“Over here there’s been skunk weed grown in the past. Down the street there was a meth lab for a while,” said Hughes. “So I guess people think they can get away with whatever out here. But no. Not a good idea.”
Horan said the residents have been good neighbors for years, so she doesn’t judge.
When asked if she would want to see the law changed, she replied, “I now know that marijuana helps people who have been sick. Before that I was against it. But everything has to be done in a responsible way.”