Budding marijuana plants removed from an illegal grow operation west of the Lake Hemet dam. Photos by Halie Johnson


A Sheriff's Department helicopter lands with investigators.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department investigators with the Narcotics Task Force eradicated about 1,800 marijuana plants Sgt. Joe Pemberton said Friday morning. The plants were discovered growing west of Lake Hemet, near the dam.


Investigator Ken Thrum led the eradication. He said it was a small grow, compared to most, and that it was discovered by an aerial unit recently passing over the area.

He said spotting the vivid green crops becomes easier during the summer when the brush around it browns. Most of the plants were broken and left, but those with buds were removed.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department Investigator Ken Thurm leaves the helicopter after a marijuana eradication near Lake Hemet.