BOISE COUNTY – Boise County sheriff’s deputies say they found the largest marijuana grow in county history and one of the largest in the state.
The sheriff's office worked with several agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to arrest four Mexican nationals and a woman from Caldwell. Those four are, Juan Pablo Villasenor-Villa, 28, Marcos Solano-Farias, 30, Carlos Cerda-Carpio, 40, and Jose Misael Ayala-Talavera, 19 and Mariah D. Villasenor-Rodriguez, 21. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service
The Boise County Sheriff says the two grows had roughly 40,000 plants with a future potential street value of $100 million. US Attorney Wendy Olsen says they processed over 5,500 plants for their case against the suspects. Under the law prosecutors only need 1,100 plants to charge someone with the maximum penality.
A hunter tipped off deputies last November of the marijuana growing in a very remote area of Boise County, not far from the last marijuana grow that was pulled two years ago. Deputies watched the area through the winter and summer.
Using helicopters, law enforcement went in and seized the plants on Wednesday.
That pull follows a smaller one from last week.
All of the plants have been destroyed.
Agents also found two semi-automatic handguns and an AK-47 type rifle in the sleeping area of the grow site. Also found was several hundred marijuana plants that were already harvested from the grow operation.
In conjunction to the marijuana grow, deputies also served a search warrant on a home in Caldwell. There deputies found around $68,000 in cash, seven vehicles and 347 one-pound bags of marijuana ready to be distributed. Those bags have a street value of $800,000.
If convicted, the defendants face at least five years in federal prison, a maximum fine of $5 million, and at least four years of supervised release. Those who possessed the firearms face a consecutive five year sentence.