The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes a crackdown on illegal pot growers in the backcountry is pushing the farmers out of San Diego County and into larger counties, according to a spokesperson for the DEA.
Every year the DEA scours the backcountry, searching for outdoor plots of land where illegal marijuana is being grown. But this year they're seeing a drop.
Special agents destroyed nearly 200,000 marijuana plants found in San Diego County this year, according to the DEA. That's fewer than last year, which was already down from 2009.
"The traffickers have learned that if they see helicopters overhead, that's a really bad thing for them and we have helicopters flying overhead every day so I think that's what's driving them north," said Bill Sherman from the DEA San Diego Field Division.
Sherman says avocado farmers are often helpful because they notice when an illegal grower is still their area and then they notify the authorities.
The DEA arrested 107 illegal growers in 2011.