Widespread opium fields cut down

Largest known seizure in state

(One of seven illegal poppy growing operation is shown in Monterey County. Photo courtesy of Monterey County Sheriff's Office)

MONTEREY COUNTY — The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office announced recently that they located and eradicated seven opium poppy growing operations in Monterey County.

The effort is part of an ongoing battle against the opioid epidemic in the community, state and nation, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office teamed up with the California National Guard to eradicate the poppy field locations that are in addition to previous fields being located and wiped out by law officials in recent months in Monterey County.

A total of 34,386 pounds, or 17 tons, of mature opium poppies were destroyed. At one of the locations more than 500 pounds of opium poppy pods were located. The total land area of opium poppies found growing was 5.6 acres. Approximately 160,000 opium poppy plants were destroyed during the operation. 

“This investigation is ongoing and we will be working closely with the District Attorney Office to seek prosecution against those responsible for these operations,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “It is believed at this time that this is the largest known seizure of opium poppies in California state history.”

The poppy growing fields include:

• 500 block of Strawberry Road, Royal Oaks
• 200 block of Aromas Road, Aromas
• 200 block of Blohm Road, Aromas
• 50 block of Johnson Road, Royal Oaks
• 100 block of Johnson Road, Royal Oaks
• 14500 block of Tumbleweed Lane, Royal Oaks
• 400 block of Elkhorn Road, Royal Oaks.


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