ENTERPRISE, Ore. -- The second-largest outdoor marijuana growing operation has resulted in the arrest of two men and the seizure of more than 10,000 plants in remote northeastern Oregon.
A helicopter spotted the illegal farm on private forest land in Wallowa County on Wednesday, according to OregonState Police.
Officers serving a warrant found around 10,300 plants 3-to-5 feet tall with an estimated value of around $25 million.
Police arrested 50-year-old Manuel Carrazco-Mendoza and 25-year-old Francisco Gallardo-Carrasco for manufacturing and possession.
Investigators think the site has been used for years without knowledge of the land owner. Oregon Fish and Wildlife agents were also probing possible charges for environmental crimes as trash, chemicals and irrigation tubing were littered throughout the forest.
In June, the largest outdoor growing operation was discovered in Eastern Oregon with around 91,000 plants.
Officials warned people in wilderness areas to be aware of such operations and call police immediately if you see any of the signs:
- Vehicles and people in unusual locations, at odd hours, or dropping off or picking up people in remote areas
- Coming across a vehicle or person with an unusual supply of camping equipment or other items such as fertilizer, PVC pipe, irrigation hoses, small plastic planters, propane tanks, tents or tarps and gardening tools
- Unexpected encounters with people armed with firearms outside of hunting season or non-traditional hunting areas
- Fish kills in streams or large amounts of garbage in a remote area with empty bags of fertilizer or other chemicals, piping, plastic planters, and camping equipment
- Seeing people in remote areas starting to landscape or clearing land Noticing foot paths or trails that seem heavily used in non-traditional hiking or trail areas