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A large marijuana garden, containing 16,721 plants, was cut down by Placer County Sheriff’s detectives Wednesday northeast of Colfax.

The illegal grow was discovered by detectives during a helicopter surveillance mission. The plants were growing on a large plot of private property that borders BLM land at Secret Ravine. Because of possible booby traps, the Placer County Special Enforcement Team was utilized to secure the remote scene.

As detectives and the SET team arrived at the scene, a Hispanic male fled on foot and was not apprehended. A handgun was recovered within the garden.

After the plants were cut down, they were loaded into cargo nets and flown out of the extremely remote location by the sheriff’s office helicopter.

Illegal marijuana grows have become prevalent in Placer County. Citizens who hike in the area’s remote canyons are reminded to stay aware of their surroundings. Should they encounter a marijuana grow, they are urged to get out of that area immediately and report what they saw to local law enforcement.