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Bust Nets 1,750 Marijuana Plants


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About 1,750 marijuana plants were seized by narcotics agents Monday morning in a 21/2-acre grove near Merced's sewage treatment plant.

Bruce Mosqueda, acting commander of the Merced Multiagency Task Force, said officers from three agencies almost caught the person tending the marijuana plants, which were 6 inches to 2 feet tall.

Mosqueda said the plants would have matured in July or August with a $525,000 street value. He said the well-concealed garden was a large and sophisticated operation using a drip irrigation system and gas- powered pump drawing water from a nearby creek.

The marijuana grove was located in a wildlife preserve area west of the Merced Police Department's shooting range and the treatment plant, Mosqueda said.

Task force agents, along with the Sheriff's Tactical and Reconnaissance Team and the sheriff's California M* Enforcement and Tracking team, pulled up all the plants after receiving tips about the garden's location.

Deputy Kevin Blake of the STAR team said this was the first major marijuana seizure of the year, with more definitely expected as the year unfolds.

Officers found a fully functional camp with a tent, sleeping bag, canned goods and camping equipment. No weapons or booby traps were located and it's believed the illicit gardener fled the scene just before agents arrived, Mosqueda said.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: The Merced Sun-Star
Author: Doane Yawger
Copyright: 2007 The Merced Sun-Star
Website: mercedsunstar.com :: Merced News, Homes, Jobs, Cars and more
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