Pipe dream: $50 million worth of pot found in Merced County sweeps

Authorities Sunday said they discovered and destroyed more than $50 million worth of marijuana during a weekend sweep in western Merced County.

Officers from an anti-drug task force worked with Merced County sheriff's deputies to conduct the sweep, which involved three marijuana farms near Los Banos, the Sheriff's Department said.

The team used a helicopter to spot the growing operations, then busted them Saturday, the statement said.

The first farm was discovered on Arburua Road inside a canyon.

Two others were found on Wolfsen and Washington roads.

In all, 35,500 pot plants were seized and destroyed, the Sheriff's Department said. About 20 pounds of trimmed, harvested marijuana was seized, officials said.

No arrests were made.

View Marijuana find in a larger map