Deputies find huge pot grow in Ballico area

August 18, 2013 

Merced County Sheriff's deputies reported finding 15,000 plants in the Ballico area Friday. During the past three days, deputies said they also found 1,000 marijuana plants at seven other sites. PHOTO: MERCED COUNTY SHERIFF

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Deputies with the Merced County Sheriff's Tactical and Reconnaissance Team on Friday reported eradicating 15,000 marijuana plants in a cornfield in the Ballico area, just east of the Turlock Airport on Newport Road.

No suspects have been arrested in the case.

Deputy Delray Shelton, sheriff's spokesman, said the department's aviation unit spotted the large-scale operation and contacted the STAR Team. Shelton said the massive grow was being watered with a pivot irrigation system that was intended for the cornfield.

Shelton said that during the past three days, the STAR Team eradicated 1,000 marijuana plants at seven other locations. He said the marijuana has a street value of about $2,000 per plant.

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