WALLOWA, Ore. - Police plucked $25 million worth of marijuana plants from an illegal plantation on privately owned forest land in northeastern Oregon on Wednesday.
With the upcoming bow hunting season, law enforcement officals asked hunters to keep their eyes open for illegal pot grows - and to be careful when encountering suspicious people in the woods.
Two men, ages 50 and 25, were arrested and jailed after police raided the grow site.
The investigation started a week ago when a helicopter spotted the marijuana plants from the air.
Law enforcement officers searched the property in a remote section of northern Wallowa County, not far from the Washington and Idaho borders.
Officers found over 10,300 marijuana plants, all 3 to 5 feet tall. The plants have been destroyed.
Estimated value of the marijuana eradicated is approximately $25 million.
Law enforcement officials said the grow operation likely had been ongoing for many years without knowledge of the land owner.
There was extensive environmental damage done to this area of old growth timber including substantial amounts of trash, chemicals and irrigation tubing littered about the forest. Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division is conducting an investigation into multiple environmental crimes that were discovered at the site.
Officers arrested Manuel Carrazco-Mendoza, 50, and Francisco Gallardo-Carrasco, 25, without incident.
Law enforcement officials have not confirmed where the two men are from. They are being held at the Union County Jail in La Grande on charges of Unlawful Manufacture and Possession of Marijuana.