Another marijuana grow site found | AspenTimes.com

Another marijuana grow site found

Staff report

The Eagle County Sheriff's Office was tipped off to a marijuana grow operation last week in Eagle County, near mile marker 14 on Cottonwood Pass Road, around the same time Forest Service officials announced the eradication of another grow operation near Ruedi Reservoir in Pitkin County. The Eagle County grow site, pictured, had about 1,000 marijuana plants.

The Eagle County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that it responded to a marijuana grow site near mile marker 14 on Cottonwood Pass Road last week, the same week U.S. Forest Service officials announced the eradication of a marijuana grow site in Pitkin County, near Ruedi Reservoir.

Cottonwood Pass Road is a mostly unpaved road from near Gypsum to Missouri Heights. The Eagle County Sheriff's Office reported an elaborate irrigation system and approximately 1,000 marijuana plants. There was also a campsite near the grow site. The Sheriff's Office didn't give an estimated value of the plants, but Forest Service officials said the site near Ruedi had 2,630 mature plants and estimated the value to be $6 million to $8 million.

Officials in both cases conducted surveillance of the sites before eradicating the plants, but suspects have not yet been located. The Sheriff's Office reported that "an anonymous party" reported the Cottonwood Pass Road site while walking through the area. Hunters smelled the marijuana and reported it to authorities in the Ruedi case.

Both investigations remain active. Anyone with information about the Cottonwood Pass Road site should call the Eagle County Sheriff's Office at 970-328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007. Tips can also be submitted online at http://www.tipsubmit.com. Anyone with information about the Ruedi-area operation is urged to call Forest Service law enforcement at 303-275-5266.

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