Tulare County authorities make massive pot bust

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Authorities made the largest pot bust of the season in the South Valley on Thursday. A massive amount of plants were ripped out of dozens of greenhouses.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office says they first started investigating this marijuana grow in early April. From the air, they spotted 49 greenhouses total over 10 acres just northwest of Delano.

"There's no word at this point on how many full grown marijuana plants there are," said Megan Rapozo with the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

Rapozo says they're only just beginning the investigation. No arrests have been made, but they did detain 31 people when the warrant was served Thursday morning. Animal control was also called to help with dogs on the property, and the power was turned off.

Then the county began working to remove the grow. Each greenhouse was cut open. The plants were removed and dumped into trucks to be taken offsite, weighed and destroyed.

"We are very early into what we consider the active season for marijuana growing, and we are getting into warmer weather," said Rapozo.

But the sheriff's office says this is the largest grow they've found so far this year. They've determined the water was coming from a well on the property. They say a full grown plant can require up to five gallons of water a day. It's another aspect of these illegal grows that's causing concern.

"It really is a lot of water in a very tough time for California," said Rapozo.

They're hoping to arrest those responsible for this grow soon and determine just how many plants they've kept from the streets.
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