Several acres of pot plants destroyed by Tennessee authorities

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 2:55pm

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says authorities have found a massive and sophisticated marijuana growing operation in a remote area in the northwest corner of Obion County.

Agents from the Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication were there Wednesday to start removing the plants, one ATV load at a time.

"It's huge," Task Force spokesperson T. J. Jordan said. "Potentially the largest grow in the history of the state of Tennessee."

Officials estimated the pot crop would yield more than 100,000 mature plants. Authorities found thousands more already harvested, processed, and ready for sale.

"The average plant will produce a pound on average," Jordan said. "At $600 to $1,000 per pound, you're talking about several million dollars.

Agents said the farm likely served as a supply chain for several states. The plants were well manicured and carefully tended.

Agents found a kitchen, showers and bunks, leading them to believe people were living in a makeshift camp associated with the illegal grow.

"We found three generators where they were powering pumps," Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder said. "They were actually using the pumps for irrigation, pulling water out of the creek and watering the plants."

No arrests have been made and the removal of the plants could take several days.

"This is the most sophisticated outdoor grow for the Governor's Task Force, and I would venture all of law enforcement in the state of Tennessee," Jordan said.

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