Jul 282012

Fresno County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Drug Enforcement agents seized more than 700 marijuana plants during a raid Friday morning in the Three Rocks community of western Fresno County.

Investigators found the plants while serving four federal search warrants, said Fresno County sheriff’s Lt. Rick Ko. Some of the plants seized were over 12 feet tall, and each would have produced more than six pounds of high-grade processed marijuana, Ko told the Fresno Bee.

The seizure was part of Operation Mercury, a collaborative police effort between Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to combat illicit marijuana production.

Those caught cultivating or allowing cultivation on their property were issued warnings by police. Those who failed to comply would be subject to searches, property seizures and arrests, Ko said.

Ko described the Friday operation as “unique” due to the sheer size of the plants taken by officers. If sold, the plants, which have high THC content, could sell for $4,000 per pound, he said.

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