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Indiana state cops find pot plants as big as trees August 18, 2005 - wave3.com
(STILLWELL, Ind.) -- Indiana State Police found 3,000 to 5,000 cultivated marijuana plants -- many as tall as small trees -- growing in a two-acre plot in rural northern Indiana.
State Police said Wednesday that Patricio Bautista, 49, of Chicago was arrested at the scene and now faces federal drug charges.
The plants were discovered Tuesday near Upper Fish Lake about 15 miles southwest of South Bend during a routine aerial survey. When police went to the area, they saw several people tending the plants. Bautista was arrested, but the others got away.
"We already have the evidence that these suspects were armed, in the marijuana plot with 5,000 plants and potentially $10 million worth of marijuana," State Police First Sgt. Mike Crabtree told South Bend's WNDU-TV. "There was a potential for violence."
He said the plants are about 8 feet tall and about one month from being harvested.
"They're 8-foot Christmas trees, is what they are," he said.
The marijuana plants, each of which would have yielded about one pound of smokable marijuana, were growing in three to five clusters, hidden in a two-acre plot of trees, Crabtree said.
State police called it the largest cultivated marijuana busts in the state.