Recreationalists Tip Authorities On Marijuana Grow Operation
Blaine County, Idaho (KMVT-TV) We are now learning more information about the marijuana grow operation up in Blaine County. We know that authorities removed thousands of marijuana plants spread across five separate growing plots on Thursday. But the investigation began earlier in the month.
Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says, "this was right in our backyard, right where people come to recreate. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is a draw for a lot of people and when people stumble into these, they want to be very careful. They want to report that to law enforcement, the Forest Service or BLM. Then we'll set up surveillance and see what we can do."
The journey to the seizure of 11,100 marijuana plants, south of Galena Summit began earlier this month when a father and son came across some PVC piping in the forest. They relayed the information to law enforcement, jump–starting the investigation.
Sheriff Ramsey adds, "and actually Wednesday morning we actually had another person stumble into this grow. He was actually with his dog and he got into the grow area and as he turned around and left, there was gun shots behind him."
This Summer alone, authorities have seized nearly 48,000 plants here in the gem state. It's all part of an effort called Operation Mountain Sweep.
"Mountain Sweep is a kick–off because it's Fall and there's been a lot of growing on public lands and so this is taking in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Idaho and it's making the public aware that people are using public lands for this kind of purpose."
More than 60 law enforcement agencies came together for this particular operation, taking approximately 27.7 million dollars of Marijuana off the streets.
"I can't expand on how well in Idaho all agencies are working together."
Authorities have not made any arrests at this time. Sheriff Ramsey anticipates the investigation to last months.