The Wasatch County Sheriff's Department and Uinta National Forest officials arrested three men Sunday night in connection with a plot of marijuana growing in the Cascade Springs area.
The three men, all in their late 20s and residents of Draper, are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District Court for Utah in Salt Lake City.Each is charged with cultivation of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a third-degree felony, and with possession of a firearm while committing a felony.
Officials found 124 high-grade marijuana plants at two sites along the Little Deer Creek drainage near Cascade Springs, said Loyal Clark, Forest Service spokeswoman. The sites are on Forest Service property.
The plants were watered with a battery-operated, gravity-feed irrigation system that drew water from a spring.
The Forest Service and sheriff's office on Monday destroyed the plants, which were 6 to 7 feet tall.
Wasatch County Sheriff Edd Thacker said the two agencies learned about one of the sites more than a year ago after getting a tip that marijuana was being cultivated there. Officials found hardware and evidence that the site had been used, but no plants were growing at that time.
Early this summer officials learned 26 marijuana plants had been planted at the site, and they began watching the area. Sunday, officers arrested three men after observing them tending the plants.
During a helicopter sweep of the Cascade Springs area, officers discovered a second cultivated site, with 98 marijuana plants.
One of the plots had electric wire strung around it to keep out animals and people, Clark said.