Eyes in the sky

Aerial survey leads to big pot bust in the foothills

A large cannabis operation was busted on June 29 outside of Bangor, in the foothills near the border of Butte and Yuba counties. The grow was discovered during an aerial survey, according to a press release from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives from multiple agencies found a total of 5,274 marijuana plants and arrested one man at the location. A second suspect ran into the brush and escaped. The growers allegedly had diverted water from nearby creeks and stored it in an above-ground swimming pool, the release noted. The pool was covered with brush and tarps, keeping it hidden from aerial surveillance.

Rigoberto Zavala, 45, of Guanajuato, Mexico, was arrested for cultivation and possession of marijuana, along with several charges related to a short-barreled AR-15 assault rifle found on the premises. His bail has been set at $195,000.