8,000 Pot Plants Discovered in N.M.

State police said they have busted one of the largest marijuana plantations ever in the history New Mexico.


TIERRA AMARILLA, N.M. --

State police said they have busted one of the largest marijuana plantations ever in the history New Mexico.

State police said they found more than 8,000 pot plants with a street value of close to $10 million on the property in northern Rio Arriba County near Tierra Amarilla, just off U.S. Highway 64.

"Yeah, it was a real surprise. That's a lot," Jim Gibbs, who owns the property next door, said.

Gibbs said he first noticed a fire burning on Tuesday. Forestry officials said a campfire sparked the blaze and that when they arrived to fight the fire, they ran straight into the massive marijuana plantation.

"We were told that there's extensive irrigation, propane bottles, tents -- a pretty sophisticated system," Gibbs said.

There are thick trees and shrubbery on the property, which means the marijuana could have easily mixed in with the rest of the vegetation.

"I'm not surprised if they find more," said Fred Martinez, an area resident.

Martinez said the isolated surroundings have attracted a dangerous crowd.

"There's plenty of drug dealers and plenty of pot growers in this area," Martinez said.

State police said the property owner is not a suspect in the case. Neighbors told Action 7 News they're just glad so many drugs have been weeded out of their community.

"Very glad they were able to find it. You know, if it were that large of a place, that's not good for this part of the country," Gibbs said.

State police have taken all of the marijuana to Santa Fe for processing. They have not made any arrests and said they don't have any suspects right now.

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