SAN RAMON -- Authorities seized 1,800 marijuana plants from a remote grow in Las Trampas Regional Wilderness on Wednesday morning, arresting a Pittsburg man who was living at an encampment set up to oversee the operation, East Bay Regional Parks police said.
Another man who was spotted at the camp eluded a multiagency police force and remains at large.
Parks police, working with investigators from the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office, Alameda County Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Justice, assembled at sunrise and raided the encampment, near Las Trampas Peak in unincorporated San Ramon and about a half-hour hike from the nearest walking trail.
Officers confronted the two men at the camp,
The outstanding suspect was described as a Latino in his 30s, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds with brown hair and eyes, wearing a light brown shirt and faded blue jeans.
Parks police Lt. Dave Dubowy described the plants they found as "high quality." The Department of Justice estimates their total worth to be about $250,000.
"It's probably part of a small cartel," Dubowy said.
At the encampment, investigators found tents, food and a generator hooked up to a pump that drew water from a nearby spring. Dubowy said police found no evidence of firearms at the site, which he estimated likely had been was
A parks patrol helicopter spotted the site in late August, Dubowy said. After surveilling the site and then waiting out last week's heat wave, investigators made their move Wednesday morning. No officers were injured.
Contact Robert Salonga at 925-943-8013.