New Book, Hidden War, Exposes The Dangers of Cartel-Managed Illegal Marijuana Grows in The U.S.
by Lynda O'Connor
In Hidden War, author Lt. John Nores, Jr., recently retired after a 28-year career as a game warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, recaps the state’s aggressive campaign to eliminate Mexican drug cartels’ black-market trespass marijuana grow operations. Nores co-developed his department’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), made up of 12 elite wildlife officers and K9s dedicated to stopping the destruction of U.S. wildlands, wildlife and waterways.
“There are thousands of these grow sites throughout America,” Nores explains. “They’re not only in our remote and pristine public lands, but also within a stone’s throw of homes and schools in urban communities like California’s Silicon Valley. What’s going on out there is surreal; it’s like the Wild West with gunfights, foot chases, and cartel gunmen arrests on a daily basis. And it’s all happening within our nation’s borders.”
Hidden War describes the challenges in developing the MET, highlighting the team’s successes throughout their first six years of operations, as described in vivid mission accounts. From 2013 through 2018, the team arrested 912 armed cartel felons, destroyed nearly 3 million toxically tainted marijuana plants, and removed 705 illegal dams that were diverting and stealing millions of gallons of water from streams and lakes during the peak of the worst drought in California history. The MET restored hundreds of grow complexes, removing tons of grower waste, fertilizer, pesticides, EPA-banned toxins and more than 400 miles of plastic irrigation pipe.
“Despite our efforts, new grow sites are added every year, and we can’t handle this problem alone,” Nores says.
By enlisting the help of conservation groups and the legitimate cannabis industry, Nores demonstrates how this non-partisan issue must be addressed nationwide. Cartel-run grow sites have been found in 21 other states, with these same cartel groups responsible for human trafficking, gun running, methamphetamine and synthetic heroin production, and other atrocious crimes.
The 256-page hardcover Hidden War (ISBN 9781946267610) is published by Caribou Media Group. The book is available through all major and specialty booksellers for $24.99.
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