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Marijuana field found near Merced

A marijuana field near Merced was uncovered Thursday by members of the Merced Sheriff STAR team.

The field, which included approximately 600 mature plants, is behind a house on the 1200 block of Yale Ave. It was spotted by the Merced Sheriff's helicopter last week, according to a press release.

Sgt. Steve Sziraki said the team may have interrupted a suspect who was pruning the plants, because some of the marijuana plants were in the process of drying and some had already been harvested. Investigators also found fresh food and a box of .38 ammunition in the camp.

The 240 pounds of marijuana is valued at nearly $500,000, according to the sheriff's department.

The owners of the property told STAR team members that they didn't know about the marijuana field, which was hidden behind berry bushes and weeds.

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