GALT -- Officers from a number of law enforcement agencies swarmed two properties in Galt on Wednesday to investigate an illegal marijuana grow operation.
Bag after bag was stowed away and suspect after suspect was detained and questioned in what would be one of Sacramento County’s largest illegal marijuana busts in its history.
When all was said and done, around 17,000 to 19,000 plants were seized, 17 people were arrested and 26 people were detained. One of the people detained and ultimately released was a 12-year-old boy.
Thirteen firearms, including two stolen firearms, were also found at the properties.
Investigators say the illegal operation was found in a spot along East Stockton Boulevard and at another property along Arno Road.
"It was a very long-term investigation spanning throughout the state of California," said Sheriff's Sgt. Shawn Hampton.
On Tuesday, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Narcotics Team served search warrants at a nearby nursery.
A number of law enforcement agencies helped make that seizure and arrests, an operation Hampton says was years in the making.
"This has been an ongoing investigation for a couple of years and culminated into what we have here today, which we believe to be a very successful operation," Hampton said.
The seizure, worth more than $4 million, according to the sheriff's office, brought the long statewide investigation to a close.
A woman, who didn't want to be identified, said she works in the nursery next to the property that was raided. She was woken up Wednesday morning by armed officers.
"When you don’t owe anything or break any laws it’s surprising. You get out of your house and six men are pointing guns at you," she said.
She says it was traumatic and claimed she and her young grandson were detained then eventually let go.
"Everything, they destroyed everything. They destroyed doors, they even poured gasoline," she said.
The law enforcement agencies at the nursery included the sheriff's department, ATF, U.S. Forest Service, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Rancho Cordova Police Department.