Tip helps bust $3 million marijuana operation in Tulare County

VISALIA, Calif.

Hundreds of plants were found on Lort Drive near Avenue 304, on the outskirts of Visalia.

Tulare County Sheriff's Detectives descended upon a house in Tulare County to break up a large marijuana operation.

This video provided to Action News by the Tulare County Sheriff's Office, shows deputies arresting four men and one woman for running a large-scale illegal marijuana operation. One of the suspects did have a medical marijuana prescription.

Sgt. Chris Douglass said, "But they had exceeded the amount they were supposed to grow and what people don't realize is the county ordinance says you cannot sell it for profit and you cannot grow it outdoors

Authorities say the marijuana plants were well-hidden on the 19-acre property. In total, detectives found 690 plants worth nearly $3 million dollars. They were using tarps to try and hide it and it was in the back portion of the property which was complicated to get to.

These Tulare County Sheriff's Office photos show some of the marijuana plants that were discovered. Authorities also found several weapons and other drugs.

Detectives credit a brand new anonymous tip program called "Tip Now" for leading them to the massive marijuana site. The system allows people to anonymously submit a tip about a crime using email, phone or text message.

"We were fortunate that we did get that tip our detectives did a lot of research on it about 3 weeks long for the investigation and we were able to make 5 arrests."

Detectives used as many resources as they could to nab the five suspects, even using a helicopter, which prevented several of the suspects from escaping.

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