Authorities seize $20 million worth of marijuana from illegal grow operation

iStock/Nastasic
iStock/Nastasic

(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) — An anonymous tipster led California police to uncover one of the largest marijuana farms ever found in the city of Riverside, officials said on Friday.

Authorities in Riverside, California, were called to a 10-acre property on McAllister Street in the Greenbelt neighborhood on Thursday where they found more than 40,000 marijuana plants growing inside a large greenhouse.

Scott Albertsons, a neighbor to the grow operation, told Los Angeles ABC station KABC that the land was sold about six months ago and that the buyers “came in and put up this new fence, which you couldn’t see through.”

The neighbor said the farm began to produce a strong odor.

“We didn’t call in,” Albertsons told KABC. “We figured a policeman would drive by and smell it because you could smell it, especially in the evening and early morning.”

The Riverside Police Department estimated that the street value of the plants to be $20 million. No arrests were made.

It took officers 24 hours to remove the cannabis plants along with thousands of pounds of fertilizer and pesticides.

Although it’s unclear if the farm was licensed by the state as a cultivation site, marijuana laws in California liimit private residences to growing only six cannabis plants or less.

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