Aug 31, 2010 10:24 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

3,000 pot plants found in Colorado mountains

Authorities say about 3,000 marijuana plants have been found in a suspected illegal growing operation in the mountains north of Boulder.

Officers plan to return the area Tuesday near the town of Raymond to recover the plants, estimated to be worth half a million dollars.

The area is rugged and about a mile from any road. The Boulder County sheriff's office said a man fled the area when investigators arrived to do surveillance on Monday.

Two SWAT teams, the U.S. Forest Service and a helicopter searched the area but the man wasn't found. Camping equipment found nearby indicates that more than one person was involved.

A hiker discovered the grow last week and alerted authorities.


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