California: Federal Agents Raid Tribal Marijuana Farm

Federal agents raided two Pit River reservations on July 8: the Alturas Indian Rancheria and the Pit River XL Ranch. Both sites were growing far more marijuana than allowed by law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Prosecutors believe a Canadian national with a long criminal record financed the operation for sales off tribal land. 18 Desert Rose Casino Alturas Indian 41 Pit River Casino Pit River Tribe (includes XL Ranch, Big Bend, Likely, Lookout, Montgomery Creek and Roaring Creek Rancherias) Burney 42 Quechan Casino Resort Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, California & Arizona Winterhaven 43 Rain Rock Casino Karuk Tribe (previously listed as the Karuk Tribe of California) Yreka 44 Red Earth The Alturas Indian Rancheria and the XL Ranch are located on opposite sides of the town of Alturas, California. The tribes that operate them, Alturas and Pit River, are separate federally recognized tribes, but are descended from the same 11 bands of Achumawi- and Atsugewi-speaking peoples that called the region home long before the arrival of white settlers. The Alturas tribe’s grow area was at their former event center, 100 yards from their Desert Rose Casino, and the other was at the Pit River tribe’s XL Ranch. The Pit River tribe has around 40 members. The XL Ranch had the greenhouses and the capacity to grow between 40,000 and 60,000 plants. The DEA said the XL Ranch operation “exceeds any prior known commercial marijuana grow operation The cultivation facility at the Alturas Indian Rancheria was located within the tribe’s former Event Center, within approximately 100 yards of the tribe’s publicly operated gaming facility, the Desert Rose Casino. The facility on the XL Ranch was immediately adjacent to Highway 395 and the banks of the Pit River, and it consisted of 40 newly constructed greenhouse structures, each of which Warrants signed on Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney gave federal agents the authority to search "two large-scale marijuana cultivation facilities located on federally recognized tribal lands at the Alturas Indian Rancheria and the XL Ranch in Modoc County." The county is in the northeast corner of California, with Oregon directly to the north and Nevada directly to the east.

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