Progressive L.A. prosecutor refuses to go after drug cartel’s illegal marijuana grow operations

America has a problem with far-left progressive prosecutors who implement “soft-on-crime” social justice policies and, by and large, refuse to prosecute many criminals, even for serious felony crimes.

One such example is southern California, where Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon and California Attorney General Rob Bonta have refused to pursue prosecutions related to an illegal marijuana grow operations controlled by the Mexican drug cartels, the Washington Examiner reported.

Those cartel-operated illegal grow sites are alleged by some law enforcement authorities and politicians to be guilty of stealing limited water resources, polluting the environment with poisonous chemicals, and engaging in violence to protect the illegal grow sites and finished product.

L.A. County prosecutor refuses to pursue felony charges against illegal grow operations

The Examiner reported that L.A. County law enforcement has conducted massive busts of cartel-operated illegal grow operations in southern California’s Antelope Valley, and attempted to charge arrested individuals with felony violations of the state’s strict environmental codes due to the fact that the harsh chemicals and pesticides used in those operations are likely polluting groundwater and killing wild animals.

Unfortunately, “Our investigators were unable to convince prosecutors to file felony charges,” L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Lt. Howard Fuchs told the outlet. “The filing DA and the presiding judge said the case was overcharged by using the felony section.”

That failure to prosecute comes despite the fact that AG Bonta was taken on a helicopter tour of the Antelope Valley and observed the illegal grow operations for himself and was informed of the devastating impact those illicit marijuana farms had on local communities, especially with regard to environmental pollutants and the theft of scarce water supplies during a drought.

“I told him we attempted to file these as felonies,” Fuchs told the Examiner of Bonta. “He was receptive. He listened intently and took notes and asked questions.”

AG Bonta acknowledges the problem but doesn’t appear to do anything about it

Indeed, according to a press release about that helicopter tour arranged by Republican State Sen. Scott Wilk, AG Bonta acknowledged in a statement that “Illegal grow sites harm our environment and undermine businesses that do things the right way.”

“Together, we’re fighting to stop our waterways from being polluted and pushing back on illegal and unlicensed activity,” he added. “I greatly appreciate the work of all of our partners across the state to continue to take on this challenge. Discussions like today’s roundtable hosted by Senator Wilk and Assemblymember Lackey demonstrate that we can and will continue to work together.”

However, the Examiner noted that aside from a few gun charges against a handful of the individuals arrested in connection with the illegal marijuana farms, nobody has been held accountable thus far, and most have probably already resumed their illegal operations in a different area.

Water theft, environmental damage, and violent crime

Sen. Wilk published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Daily News in July following that helicopter tour and roundtable discussion with AG Bonta and summarized some of the major problems with the illegal grow operations, such as the estimated theft of upwards of 5.4 million gallons of water per day as well as how growers “blatantly disregard environmental concerns, leading to stripped-bare landscapes, deforestation, and wildfires, while their misuse of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers poisons the land and the groundwater that residents use to bathe and drink.”

Wilk praised local law enforcement efforts to crack down on the illicit farms, but lamented how “the state’s increasingly ‘soft-on-crime’ policies guarantee no more than a slap on the wrist before prosecuted growers are sent back to their still-intact operations,” as well as a rapid  “explosion” of crime in the region “because the current top prosecutor in Los Angeles County refuses to go after perpetrators of these types of crimes.”

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