A Colorado marijuana plant field discovered in a remote, mountainous part of South St. Vrain Canyon prompted law enforcement officials to call in a military vehicle typically used to transport soldiers into the heart of battle. Citing the “very, very steep” location, authorities in Boulder County used a Black Hawk Army helicopter to remove 400 plants at the illegal grow site.
According to a local television report, the marijuana plant field was discovered by neighbors who were hiking in the area on Aug. 25. The grow location was about a 45 to 60 minute hike from the main road. Investigators have not determined who tended the marijuana plant field, located on private property. The owners said they did not give anyone permission to grow marijuana.
A cop told local reporters that the site appeared to have been set up by a drug trafficking organization, likely from Mexico. Cartels have been known to sprout marijuana plant fields in California national forests, but this would be the first time any Mexican drug traffickers are linked to illegal grow sites in Colorado.
The unknown growers arranged the plants in the ground a few at a time and around pine trees to help conceal the marijuana plant field from the air. Investigators told 9News that marijuana plant fields are typically arranged in nice, neat roads.
Authorities also seized irrigation pipes, other grow equipment and a makeshift campground that had been abandoned.
“Large marijuana grow sites like this are put in by people who have criminal minds, so they are very dangerous. They’re there to protect their investment,” Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Heidi Prentup said. “It’s always dangerous. If you find something like this, you should never go near it. Contact law enforcement, because you don’t know…there could be booby traps, there could be weapons. You don’t want to go into it.”
The growers also took a huge risk for very little reward. Boulder County deputies said the plants would only yield about $100,000 of consumable product.