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Illegal grow operation busted, 12,000 marijuana plants destroyed - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Illegal grow operation busted, 12,000 marijuana plants destroyed

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HUERFANO COUNTY -

A massive drug bust hidden in the Colorado mountains.

Federal agents say they seized nearly 12,000 marijuana plants growing in the San Isabel National Forest near Cordova Pass on Wednesday.

This is one of the largest illegal grow operations officials have ever seen in Colorado. They say it was worth at least $10 million.

The Huerfano County Sheriff says this operation was spread out across ten acres in four connected sites.

And it wasn't easy to find either. The Sheriff's Office, U.S. Forest Service and the the Bureau of Land Management had to hike in an hour and a half from this spot, just outside of La Veta.

The Sheriff arrested two men running the operation. He tells News5 he believes the two were illegally growing pot here for two to three years. They were living out of campsites set up in the middle of the grow.

Officials say it was so strategically laid out, the growers had built their own holding pond of water on the creek and set up miles of black pipe, feeding water back to the site.

Agents were tipped off about the site when a man scouting out the forest, as he was getting ready for archery season, came across the intricate grow operation.

All marijuana plants found on site were destroyed on site on Wednesday. 

The Sheriff also says this has caused big damage to Forest Service land with erosion, pesticides, trash left behind and trees cut down.

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