A nineteen-year-old man has been arrested by Madera Country sheriffs after they discovered he had been siphoning off water for his marijuana plants growing on a hillside near Yosemite Lakes Park in drought-stricken California.
According to the Madera County Sheriffs Department Facebook page, the unidentified man may have siphoned off an estimated 1.5 million gallons of water illegally.
Sheriff’s deputies discovered 100 mature plants — ready for harvest– growing on a hillside farm estimated at approximately 40,000 square feet.
Deputies discovered a hose hooked up to the Yosemite Lakes Park water system, leading to two battery powered control valves, each leading to an irrigation line feeding smaller drip lines watering each individual plant.
Under Madera County’s Medical Marijuana Ordinance the owner, who admitted to owning the plants, faces $25,000 in fines just for the plants alone. He faces the possibility of an $18,000 bill for the water used.
When confronted over the water usage, the owner said he had every right to take it.
“With wells running dry, it’s appalling to learn this much water was stolen during these drought ridden times,” said Madera County Sheriff John Anderson.
Sheriff’s deputies destroyed all of the marijuana plants.