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Idaho marijuana raid netted 40,000 plants

Published: Saturday, Aug. 4 2012 9:00 p.m. MDT

GRACE, Idaho — A sophisticated marijuana growing operation raided in southeastern Idaho is much larger than initially reported.

During a news conference Wednesday, law enforcement officers said the grow site contained an estimated 40,000 plants worth an estimated street value of $80.5 million. A day earlier, Caribou County officials said the site had more than 10,000 plants with a street value of more than $20 million.

The grow site is in the mountains south of Grace in Caribou County just feet outside the Bannock County line at an elevation of 7,000 feet.

KIFI-TV reports Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said he has "no doubt" the sophisticated operation has connection to a Mexican drug cartel.

Officers said the site is several years old. They seized miles of irrigation pipe and 1,000 pounds of fertilizer.

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