Thousands of marijuana plants found on Mount Charleston
A huge drug operation on Mt. Charleston was shut down by Metro Police this week. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A huge drug operation on Mount Charleston was shut down by Las Vegas police this week.
Investigators say it was simply hiding in the trees.
Mount Charleston has long served as a pleasant escape for many people in the Valley. But criminals use the mountain as an escape to grow and hide marijuana.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are working together to put a stop to that.
By air and foot, police recovered close to 4,000 marijuana plants from a remote area on Mount Charleston. The plants come with a street value of about $7 million.
Investigators were tipped off by a citizen who was in the area hiking. Police are glad that hiker wasn't hurt.
"There are a lot of campers, hikers, people who take their family up there for two or three day camping trips. If they were to stumble onto one of these operations, there could be some potential disastrous results," a spokesperson for Metro said.
The criminals who run these illegal grow operations are often armed and dangerous. Whoever is responsible for this operation is still on the loose. But police say they're close behind, thanks to clues left at makeshift camps.
The investigation remains ongoing.
Police say these outdoor grow operations are increasing. In 2010, Las Vegas metro police didn't bust any. So far this year, they've uncovered five.