American Scene

CALIFORNIA

Police: $800 million worth of pot seized in raids

UKIAH An estimated $800 million worth of marijuana has been seized in a massive raid on public lands deep in Northern California’s pot country, authorities said Tuesday.

The three-week effort, known as Operation Full Court Press, to purge the Mendocino National Forest of illegal gardens, led to the seizure of more than 632,000 marijuana plants. The operation resulted in 132 arrests with 118 people booked on federal and state charges and 14 detained on immigration violations.

Several Mexican-based drug trafficking organizations were behind the illegal grows, Department of Justice spokeswoman Michelle Gregory said.

In previous years, officials have blamed Mexican drug cartels for some of the state’s largest growing operations, but Ms. Gregory stopped short of making that claim.

The $800 million tally for the seized plants is a conservative estimate, said John Heil, a regional spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. The amount is based on a street value of marijuana being worth about $2,500 per pound, he said.

COLORADO

Lawmaker wants burro racing as state’s official summer sport

DENVERThere’s a move afoot to make burro racing Colorado’s official summer sport.

State Rep. Tom Massey, a Republican, says skiing has been declared the official winter sport, so he plans to sponsor a resolution next year declaring pack burro racing as the official summer sport of Colorado.

Western Pack Burro Association spokesman Brad Wann told KDVR-TV that donkey races are a tribute to the miners who would race back to the office with their donkeys after they struck gold to claim it.

Today’s competitions are five to 29 miles long. Competitors run alongside the donkeys, which are required to carry 33-pound packs and mining tools.

FLORIDA

One killed, two wounded in check-cashing store shooting

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