Authorities bust pot-growing operation 'the size of a football field'

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The Burnett County Sheriff's Office is investigating more than 3,000 marijuana plants located on public land about "the size of a football field" Tuesday, part of a what was once a massive growing operation in northwest Wisconsin, WDIO reports.

Authorities say the plants found by hunters south of Grantsburg appeared to have been recently abandoned, but had a sophisticated irrigation system.

The site had "hand dug holding ponds to hold water and gasoline powered pumps and a tubing network that supplied water to every single plant individually,” Chief Deputy Scott Burns told the television station. Investigators also found a small camp with abandoned equipment, but no suspects.

Burns estimates the plants, even unkept, are worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The investigation and removal of the plants is being conducted by Burnett County, Polk County and St. Croix County sheriffs' offices along with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Northland's NewsCenter reports.

WDIO says the operation could be linked to a large growing operation in Hickley, Minn. which is was raided this summer.

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