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August 29, 2011
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Authorities clear 13,000 marijuana plants found in Mono County

MINDEN, Nev. - More than 13,000 marijuana plants were destroyed on Thursday, after Mono County authorities found several grow sites in the Sweetwater Mountains.

The plants had a potential street value of $67 million, according to information released by the Mono County Sheriff's Office.

It took 12 hours for law enforcement officials to eradicate the plants with the help of federal helicopters.

No suspects were found at the grow sites, but Mono County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Jennifer Hansen reported several camp sites were located. Also found were weapons and ammunition.

The grow sites were located on public land and were littered with trash and pipes.

Hansen said the U.S. Forest Service will work to restore the land to their natural state.

Mono County authorities issued a warning to outdoor enthusiasts to watch out for grow sites.

"If you see anything that looks out of place such as cleared areas of forest that should not be cleared, fertilizer bags, black plastic pipes, large camps where there should not be, or growing marijuana, please immediately leave the area and note the location, if possible, and notify the appropriate law enforcement agency," Hansen said. "These large scale marijuana cultivators are known to be armed and will sometimes protect the gardens at any expense."

Agencies working to clear the site included the Inyo County Sheriff's Department, Mammoth Lakes Police Department, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Drug Enforcement Agency, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, CAMP, Alpine County Sheriff's Office, Bishop Police Department, Mono County District Attorney's Office, Mono County Paramedics and Mono County Public Works.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 29, 2011 02:28PM Published Aug 29, 2011 02:27PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.