More than 1,700 pot plants seized from grow operation near El Dorado

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EL DORADO, Kan. (KAKE) -

Authorities in Butler County have seized more than 1,700 marijuana plants from a grow operation on Monday. 

Deputies were first dispatched Sunday to the report of a residential burglary in the 5000 block of NW Highway 77, north of El Dorado. Undersheriff Tony Wilhite said a suspect who was located in the area ran into a field. While searching for that person, two more male suspects were discovered a couple hundred yards west of the highway. They fled as well, but one was captured.

The capture led deputies to discover a cultivated marijuana field. 

"Evidence at the scene indicated this was a marijuana grow which had numerous persons staying there around the clock tending to the crops," Undersheriff Wilhite said. 

On Monday, Butler County deputies along with KBI agents and KHP troopers entered the property and seized more than 1,700 cultivated plants. Wilhite said there was a camp site with tents, air mattresses, sleeping bags, hygiene products, and a cooking area discovered.  There were also generators and water pumps used to irrigate the marijuana plants. 

Wilhite said it is estimated than if the crop had been harvested at its full potential, the street value would have been in excess of $1.7 million. The investigation is ongoing. 

It is estimated that if the crop had been harvested at its full potential, the street value would have been in excess of 1.7 million dollars. The investigation is ongoing.

Wilhite sent the following note for landowners in the county:

If you see something that seems out of place or suspicious, please don’t hesitate to contact our office and have a Deputy come check it out.  The person(s) involved in this grow operation were there for an extended period of time.  October is the month most of the crops are harvested so please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity. 

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