7,400 marijuana plants found in illegal grows near Rye

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. — Investigators found more than 7,400 marijuana plants in two illegal grow fields near Rye on Wednesday, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they found 7,438 marijuana plants, assorted grow equipment, and makeshift shelters on rugged land located on both private property and San Isabel National Forest land northwest of Rye.

Deputies said a tip from hikers led them to the grow operations, which were located near North Muddy Creek and Little Saint Charles Creek. Investigators found 5,887 plants on private property and another 1,551 plants on forest service property. Deputies believe both fields were being tended by the same people.

Since August 2012, deputies have removed more than 27,600 marijuana plants from six illegal grows on or near San Isabel National Forest land. Investigators believe the first four grows–found in 2012, 2015, and 2016–are connected to drug trafficking organizations based in Mexico. They’re still trying to determine if the grows discovered Wednesday are connected to the previous operations.

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