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Officials: Mount Charleston marijuana had $23.4 million street value


U.S. Forest Service

Authorities found this processing station at the site, where the marijuana plants were hung to dry.

Updated Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 | 3:31 p.m.

Mount Charleston Marijuana

Authorities discovered the 4-acre marijuana cultivation site on Mount Charleston in the Deer Creek area, between Kyle and Lee canyons. Crews airlifted the 4,685 plants out of the site Wednesday. Launch slideshow »

The amount of marijuana seized from a grow site Wednesday on Mount Charleston had a street value of more than $23.4 million, authorities said.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Judy Suing said authorities eradicated 4,685 plants from the site, located in the Deer Creek area between Kyle and Lee canyons.

Authorities began the eradication efforts at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday and completed the process later in the day after airlifting the plants out of the remote site, Suing said.

The plants were taken to an offsite location and buried, she said.

Multiple agencies, including Metro Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Nevada Department of Wildlife, participated in the investigation, which began after a routine aerial observation team discovered the four-acre farm plot.

Officials on Wednesday said they found evidence of people camping at the site, which included a water diversion system to feed the plants. No arrests have been made.

Authorities said marijuana cultivation on public lands has increased the past several years. Officials said marijuana has been eradicated on about 40,000 of the 193 million acres of National Forest land.

Last year, authorities dismantled 1,481 outdoor grow sites in California compared to 12 in Nevada, according to DEA data.

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