Thousands of marijuana plants found in Fresno County

FRESNO, Calif.

Earlier this week, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office found a marijuana grow on an acre of land in the Del Rey area.

Lt. Rick Ko said, "There's about 2600 plants here ranging from 2 ft. to 7 ft. tall with a street value of about $8 million."

Early Thursday morning, members from several local and federal law enforcement agencies raided the property as part of Operation Mercury, a federal effort to help the Valley cut down on marijuana grows.

Once on scene, they discovered a person with a shotgun and two other people on the property. At the grow site, law enforcement also found 27 medical marijuana recommendations. Although state law allows people to grow marijuana, in the eyes of the federal government, cannabis is illegal.

"It may be legal under state law, but it's a big maybe," Lt. Rick Ko said. "You're allowed to have or grow as much is reasonably necessary. When you have somebody that has 99 plants that yield 5 lbs. per plant for somebody to have. That's really not reasonable."

Right now, law enforcement is working on identifying as many as 300 grows in the county. With harvest season approaching, Lt. Rick Ko expects marijuana raids like this one, could last well into October.

Lt. Rick Ko said, "In Fresno County we've probably done 20 in the last 30 days and we have many more to go."

None of the people on the property were taken into custody. However, authorities say they are turning this case over to the U.S. Attorney's Office for further investigation.

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