LANCASTER – Authorities seized about 1,000 mature marijuana plants from a rural area in Lancaster Wednesday.
“It really resembled a Christmas tree lot, it’s the largest marijuana plants I’ve ever seen,” said Lancaster Community Relations Deputy Michael Rust. “They’re estimating the street value at about 3 to 4 million dollars.”
Rust said the plants had been growing for at least 90 days in two outdoor enclosures near a motorhome on 57th Street East, about a quarter mile north of Avenue E.
“They were all in various stages of growth, anywhere from 4-feet to 8-feet tall, with the majority of them being in the 8-foot range,” Rust said.
The alleged operator, Abdul W. Jabal, was living in the motorhome on the property, Rust said.
Jabal was arrested around 10:10 a.m. Wednesday for cultivation of marijuana.
The 36-year-old White male was previously arrested in early June for cultivating marijuana in the Lake Los Angeles area, Rust said. At his preliminary hearing Monday for the Lake Los Angeles case, Jabal gave his current address, so deputies dropped by the property to check it out.
“Our Lake Los Angeles deputy drove by there this morning (Sept. 12) to see if he was in fact living there, and he sees these two large enclosures, which is exactly the same thing he had out in Lake Los Angeles…” Rust said. “The deputy was hollering for him to come out the motorhome, and the suspect came out of the enclosure. He was actually in there tending to the plants.”
Rust said the Lake Los Angeles deputy called in narcotics deputies, who took over and spent much of the day, Wednesday, pulling up the plants and tossing them into a truck to be hauled away.
“We called in the Forest Service to help because they have a marijuana eradication detail and they will be taking the plants to be disposed,” Rust added.
Jabal remains jailed on $50,000 bail. He is due in court Friday to answer charges.
UPDATED 9/12/12 at 9:50 p.m. The following is the press release from the Lancaster Station:
Deputy White was patrolling in the area of 57th Street East and Avenue E, when he saw two large wooden enclosures in the desert north of Avenue E. He could see that the walls of the enclosures were constructed of plywood and the roof was covered with shade cloth and each of the enclosures appeared to be roughly 100 feet by 50 feet.
The enclosures caught his attention because in June of this year, Deputy White found a similar enclosure in the 13400 block of East Avenue H. That enclosure was being used to grow marijuana. At that location, Deputy White arrested Abdul Jamar and charged him with cultivation of marijuana.
As deputy White drove towards the location this morning [Sept. 12] he could see that the property was fenced with barbed wire. As he parked his patrol car outside the fence line, he saw a male exiting one of the enclosures. He immediately recognized the male as Abdul Jamar. Deputy White said when he called for Suspect Jamar to come to the fence. Jamar looked at him and said I guess I’m in trouble again. Jamar was detained and Narcotics detectives were called to the location.
When the detectives entered the enclosures, they found nearly one thousand mature marijuana plants. The majority of the plants were 6-8 feet tall and capable of producing over a pound of marijuana each. The detectives used chainsaws to cut the plants down and then asked the U.S. Forest Service to remove and destroy the huge pile of plants.
The plants had an estimated street value of three to four million dollars.
Suspect Jamar was once again arrested for cultivation of marijuana and is currently being held at Lancaster Sheriff’s Station’s Jail.
Editor’s note: The suspect is listed in the LASD inmate system as Abdul W. Jabal. However, he is listed as Abdul Jamar in the Lancaster Station press release.