But the most frightening experience for James is when he came face-to-face with two drug smugglers. Luckily in that case, they only watched him as he backed away.
But he says he’s also stumbled on clothing hanging on branches, a sign he’s been told that they will kill. That’s why he now carries lethal weapons and wears a bulletproof vest.
James is now forced to police the vast land that his family’s owned for decades, knowing he’s sharing it with the most notorious organized criminals in the world, and there’s nothing he can do about it.
“You shouldn’t have to live this way, you know, in fear, because somebody is on your ground willing to shoot you to protect their grow,” he said.
This proliferation is happening as funding for California’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement was completely cut from the state budget nearly two years ago.