Sara Carter exclusive: Biden border policies fueling sprawling cartel-linked pot-growing operations far inland
FOX News investigative reporter tells 'Hannity' about alleged drug cartel operations inside California
In a special "Hannity" investigation, investigative journalist Sara Carter traveled to the Antelope Valley around Lancaster, Calif., where – hundreds of miles away from the Mexican border – the Biden's border policies are starkly affecting everyday Americans as cartel-linked marijuana growing operations have become a criminal plague.
Carter traveled around the acres and acres of warehouses and growing fields with Rep. Mike Garcia, a freshman Republican from Santa Clarita, who gave her the latest on the dangerous criminal enterprise.
Pointing to a warehouse surrounded by acres of scrub, Garcia told Carter it held 20,000 or more marijuana plants, and pointed to another area outside the warehouse where more plants had been freshly harvested.
"[Y]ou see those little light gray and white specks, that is an illegal grow right there. They’re not growing petunias or tomatoes, probably," the lawmaker said.
Carter told "Hannity" that law enforcement authorities are overwhelmed at the southern border by the flood of illegal immigrants and cannot simultaneously handle the influx of cartel criminality in the Antelope Valley.
"This is the border crisis basically in our backyard; some 3- 400 miles away from [Mexico]. It’s affecting everyday American lives right now: it’s not good for Americans [or] those who are here illegally," Garcia said.
Carter told Hannity she was stunned by the miles and miles of "vast, sophisticated, illegal grows [that are] worth tens of millions of dollars."
"They have become extremely more brazen. They are not afraid of hiding it, they don’t hide it because they don’t feel they will ever be held accountable for it and they continue to sell their product – not only across the United States, but according to law enforcement, they are moving millions of dollars, if not billions, overseas, and we don’t even know where that’s going," she said.
Residents Carter spoke with declined to show their faces out of fear of cartel retribution, and one woman lamented how uncomfortable she feels with the cartels operating so openly in her neighborhood.
"I know that they don’t have any regard for human life, and if anybody gets in their way, they wouldn’t think twice about knocking you off. I just don’t think they would even think twice about it," she said.
Carter added that while in the helicopter with Garcia, a car in the growing area spotted them and raced back into the underbrush to avoid being seen. In another case, apparent cartel workers began filming the helicopter in what the journalist said was an attempt at intimidation.
She also spoke with Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who told her Los Angeles County is again becoming the "Wild West."
"The origins of the L.A. County sheriff department date back to 1850. This was literally the Wild West. Fast-forward 171 years, it’s becoming the Wild West again," he said.
Villanueva pledged to crack down on the operations as much as he can, saying "The difference that tamed the Wild West was the sheriff: The sheriff’s department, law and order, structure, a civil society. Now, we have the [criminal] element up there. Again, we're going to wind back the clock in history here; the sheriff’s department, we are going to reassert authority and order and we are going to take care of business."