Three Mexicans were arrested and plants up to 8-feet-tall were uprooted after discovery of the pot garden east of Twitchell Reservoir near Highway 166, Sgt. Erik Raney said.
Santa Barbara County deputies flying a routine patrol by helicopter discovered the marijuana farm on July 6 and deputies, along with San Luis Obispo County authorities, moved in for the bust, the sergeant said.
On July 8, three illegal immigrants were arrested, including two who had previously been deported and may face additional felony charges for illegal re-entry into the U.S.
"The plants were located in nine separate grows within a short distance of the riverbed," Raney said. "Water from the river was used in an elaborate system of gravity-fed irrigation."