Nine more outdoor marijuana growing operations with an estimated street value of $16 million have been seized from private land in southwestern Idaho.
State, federal and county officers worked together to remove more than 18,000 plants Wednesday and Thursday in the Midvale and Weiser areas.
Another 5,500 plants were found Aug. 20 on a plot near Sweet, said Ann Thompson of the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement.
“What we were seeing on Wednesday is plants averaging 6- to 7-feet tall with a stem diameter of about 3 inches,” Thompson said. “These were mature, ready-to-harvest plants.”
Thompson said the harvest was an estimated four tons of marijuana or 8,000 pounds. At a street value of $2,000 per pound, that makes the capture worth $16 million, she said.
No arrests were made. Thompson said the sites were heavily camouflaged in foothills and gullies.
“Again, these plots are located in very brushy, very remote areas,” she said.
“The cultivators have hollowed out sites inside of the brush, reinforced the walls with more brush and wove a camouflaging canopy of brush over the top. The growers are very sophisticated in their arrangement and construction of the sites.”
The discoveries followed the seizure of more than 7,800 plants near Ola on June 11.
About 45,000 plants were found north of Weiser on Aug. 5. Those seizures led to the indictment of 13 people by a federal grand jury last week.
Fewer than 1,600 pot plants were seized statewide in 1996.
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