2 il­le­gal grows found in for­est near Rye

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Kieran Ni­chol­son

Of­fi­cials found two il­le­gal mar­i­juana grows, with more than 7,400 plants, on fed­eral for­est land near Rye, a town of about 200.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors were tipped off by a hiker who stum­bled upon the grows in the Huck­le­berry Hills area north­west of Rye. On Fri­day, de­tec­tives went to the site and “dis­cov­ered thou­sands of mar­i­juana plants,” the sher­iff’s of­fice an­nounced.

The il­le­gal grow is the sec­ond largest un­cov­ered in Pue­blo County and the fifth found in fields on or near the San Is­abel Na­tional For­est in the past five years, the Pue­blo County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­ports.

About 2,000 mar­i­juana plants were found in one field and an­other 5,400 in a lower field. In­ves­ti­ga­tors es­ti­mate the value of the mar­i­juana at $7 mil­lion.

Ev­i­dence, in­clud­ing cook stoves, food con­tain­ers and blan­kets in­di­cates that peo­ple had been liv­ing in the area, po­lice said. No sus­pects, how­ever, have been ar­rested.

The lat­est il­le­gal grow is the fifth such op­er­a­tion found in or near the San Is­abel Na­tional For­est since 2012.

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