BOISE – State and federal authorities say they have destroyed more than 40,000 marijuana plants and arrested five people suspected of running an illegal growing operation in two locations in Boise County.
The Boise County Sheriff’s Office described the illegal growing bust Thursday as the biggest ever in the county, with an estimated street value of nearly $100 million.
The plants were discovered in two areas, one on public land near Rabbit Creek, where police last week apprehended Jose Misael Ayala-Talavera, 19, Marcos Solano-Farias, 30, and Carlos Cerda-Carpio, 40, at a camp near the grow site. Authorities also seized firearms, plants already harvested, irrigation systems, food and camping gear.
While investigating the Rabbit Creek operation, authorities learned of another operation east of Lowman in the Payette River drainage. State, local and federal agents on Wednesday removed more than 4,800 plants from that location.
In addition, authorities arrested two others during a Sept. 13 raid of a home in Caldwell, where a search netted nearly $69,000 in cash, seven vehicles and 348 pounds of marijuana.