“There is an increasing level of violence associated with illegal marijuana cultivation”, said Butte County Sheriff Jerry Smith. That statement proved to be true early Tuesday morning after a marijuana raid in Berry Creek ended with gunfire. Butte County Sheriff Deputies raided the garden off of Feather Ridge Way just before 7:00 Tuesday morning, but one of the suspects guarding the marijuana grow opened fire in his attempt to escape. ” The deputy sheriff then returned fire, striking the suspect in the lower extremities”, said Smith.
No deputies were injured in the shooting, and the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital with a gun shot wound to the leg. Both he and one other suspect are now in custody. ” This is not the first time this has occurred in this county. We’ve had a number of situations where we’ve been confronted with armed suspects who are guarding marijuana grows”, said Smith.
The sheriff’s office is not saying how much marijuana was removed from the garden, but sheriff Jerry Smith does says the raid and shooting shows how dangerous illegal marijuana grows are making it for local residents. ” Right now is a very dangerous time to be up in the foothills or mountainous communities because of people who are growing illegal marijuana grows”, said Smith.