Authorities raided what is easily the largest illegal marijuana grow in Douglas County history on Monday, and perhaps one of the largest ever discovered in the Silver State.
With 80 workers, the Cedar Flat grow was the largest employer in the Pine Nuts, and rivaled several smaller firms in Douglas County.
The numbers associated with the 160-greenhouse grow on 22 acres of Washoe Allotment land are staggering.
Authorities buried 123,900 pounds or 62 tons of marijuana on the site, hopefully deep enough to discourage anyone else from trying to dig it up.
The R-C is still seeking clarification on the number of plants, but it could quite easily be in the thousands with a value that is well into the millions.
These were not little plants either. People working on site in rugged conditions that wouldn’t pass muster in any regulated business tended the plants for months.
Residents first started reporting the site last summer even as the last embers of the Numbers Fire were growing cold.
Some might wonder why when you could see the greenhouses on Google Earth it took more than a year for the authorities to raid the site.
We doubt that anyone will step forward for a bit, but we bet that the reason was that law enforcement was attempting to find the source of funding in what is clearly a sophisticated criminal enterprise.
Authorities could have gone in last summer and cleared out the 30 or so greenhouses and rounded up the workers, but the goal in a big raid like this is to track down the king pins.
That an organized crime syndicate that could involve numerous Chinese national is believed to be responsible seems plausible given reports received from residents.
The reality is that the legalization of both marijuana and hemp have provided cover for criminal enterprises who rook people into working for them by providing the veneer of legitimacy.
Residents who complained and documented the grow for the last year thought they were being ignored, but sometimes it takes patience to catch a big fish.
Here’s hoping law enforcement managed to land a big catch, making the time and effort expended on this investigation worth the effort.