Over $80.5 million of marijuana seized near Grace, Idaho

GRACE, Idaho (AP) — Federal, state and local law enforcement officers have raided a large and sophisticated marijuana growing operation on state land in the mountains of southwestern Idaho. No arrests were made.

The operation raided in southeastern Idaho is much larger than initially reported.

During a news conference Wednesday, law enforcement officers said the grow site contained an estimated 40,000 plants worth an estimated street value of $80.5 million. A day earlier, Caribou County officials said the site had more than 10,000 plants with a street value of over $20 million.

The grow site is in the mountains south of Grace in Caribou County just feet outside the Bannock County line at an elevation of 7,000 feet.

KIFI-TV reports Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said he has “no doubt” the sophisticated operation has connection to a Mexican drug cartel.

Officers said the site is several years old. They seized miles of irrigation pipe and 1,000 pounds of fertilizer.

Caribou County Sheriff Ric Anderson says the operation is one of the largest marijuana busts in state history.

Sheriff’s personnel from several counties, including Franklin County, along with state and federal drug agencies, the Idaho State Police and the Bureau of Land Management raided the grow site Tuesday.

The remote site is only accessible by foot or all-terrain vehicle. The Idaho State Journal reports Black Hawk helicopters were used to airlift the mostly 6- and 7-foot tall plants to an area closer to Grace, where they were being loaded into dump trucks.

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