A man was arrested on charges of growing marijuana on June 21.
A two-week-long investigation led the West El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigations Team to an area of the National Forest north of Stumpy Meadows Lake, east of Georgetown, a press release stated.
When the teams entered the garden, a man dressed in camoflauge allegedly fled from law enforcement. Deputies sustained minor injuries in the pursuit but were able to apprehend the man. No shots were fired, though a handgun was found in a nearby camp. The man, Omar Ruiz Talauera, 21, of Michoacan, Mexico but claiming to be a transient, was booked into the county jail on charges of cultivation of marijuana, marijuana for sale and resisting arrest.
Thousands of square feet of timber was cleared to accommodate the growing operation, causing extensive damage to the National Forest. The tops of tree stumps that had been cut were painted green, likely to avoid detection by aircraft, the press release stated.
Empty bags of fertilizer and bags of trash were found in the garden and nearby. The grow was above the Rubicon River, a tributary of the Middle Fork of the American River, which feeds into the North Fork and then into Folsom Lake.
Talauera is being held on $20,500 bail with an additional charge of illegal entry.