Marijuana grow bust in Boulder County 2.0: Now 7,500 plants seized worth $1 million

ralston creek marijuana grow 2009.JPG
A 2009 Ralston Creek haul.
An update about yesterday's Boulder County marijuana grow seizure of 3,000 plants. After a closer count, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office thinks the plant total was closer to 3,500 -- and after more inspection of the nearby area, law-enforcement types located a second operation whose crop is currently estimated at 4,000, bringing the sum to 7,500.

Street value? Approximately $1 million.

BCSO Commander Rick Brough says Grow 2.0 "was about a mile in a southwesterly direction from the first one," which was in the vicinity of Raymond -- the town, not the guy everybody loves. "And from what I'm hearing, they shared irrigation systems. They were pulling water from the same river and irrigating both grows."

Next step? "Today, the Colorado National Guard is going to assist us. The plants have all been bundled up, and they're going to pick them up in two helicopters. They call it a swing load, with cargo nets -- and they're going to move them to a loading area designated off Colorado Highway 7. From there, it'll be put in dump trucks to be destroyed." The airlift should be underway at this writing.

Because BCSO officers, joined by officers from the Longmont Police SWAT team, the Boulder County Drug Task Force and the U.S. Forest Service have swept the area thoroughly both on the ground and from the air, Brough feels fairly confident there's not a third grow just around the bend. But that doesn't mean other rural areas in Boulder County might not boast grows of their own -- and this prospect could lead to ramped-up surveillance.

"At one time, an agency used to assist us with flyovers to specifically look for these kinds of things," Brough says. "I don't think we've done them for a couple of years, but that's something we may reevaluate. We may get the Forest Service involved to see what kind of strategies we might come up with from here."

In other words, the current mission is winding down -- but another one could be germinating as we speak. Page down to read the BCSO release about the latest find:

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