Marijuana operation larger than initially thought

UNION CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- Authorities are increasing their estimate of the number of marijuana plants found in a massive outdoor growing operation in Obion County.

Law enforcement found the plants on Monday and initially said there were at least 50,000 mature marijuana plants growing over the 10-acre site in a heavily wooded hillside west of Hornbeak.

But as they started removing the plants on Wednesday, they seized an estimated 362,000 marijuana plants with a street value of about $434 million, the Union City Daily Messenger reported.

Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder called it a very sophisticated operation that included barracks, underground tunnels, showers, generators, a kitchen, an irrigation system and lights.

No arrests have been made, but investigators are gathering evidence at the scene, said Chief Deputy Kent Treece.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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