$500 Million in Pot Burned in Central Valley

By Jessica Greene
|  Monday, Aug 30, 2010  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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$500 Million in Pot Burned in Central Valley

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The plants were in a corn field in various stages of growth, Sacramento-area TV station KCRA reported. The street value is about $478 million, authorites say.

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Cops in the Central Valley following a tip about a possible meth lab in Merced found something illegal, but quite different when they got to the scene.

Merced police went to an Atwater house where, instead of finding the ingredients for meth, they found nearly 50,000 marijuana plants, worth an estimated $500 million.

The plants were in a corn field in various stages of growth, Sacramento-area TV station KCRA reported. The street value is about $478 million, authorites say.

It took 25 officers from several different law enforcement agencies to harvest the plants, which amounted to a pile 5-feet high. On Sunday, authorities burned the pile of plants.

Two people were arrested, 36-year-old Juvenal Sanchez, of Salinas, and 22-year-old Jose Lizarraga of Delhi.

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