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Huge Marijuana Field Found On Chicago's South Side

UPDATED: 10/3/2012 - 11:30 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) - Chicago police have located a massive marijuana field on the South Side, with an estimated street value of $7 million to $10 million.

Officers say they discovered a field of pot that spans the equivalent of two football fields at 107th Street and Stony Island.

The field is near the Harborside International Golf Center.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Bernie Tafoya Reports


Authorities say more than 1,500 cannabis plants, with a value of up to $10 million, were discovered during a helicopter operation Tuesday.

Some of the plants were as tall as Christmas trees.

Police located this field of marijuana plants near Stony Island. (Credit: Susanna Song/CBS)

The field was discovered yesterday around noon by a pilot Edward Graney, who was flying a Cook County Sheriff police helicopter.

It is located about 100 yards away from street, but was hidden by wild flowers. Police also found evidence of a camp, with a tarp, sleeping bag and even some orange soda and Cheetos, which suggests somebody may have been guarding the field.

Graney, who was flying overhead after a training exercise, said he spotted "five rows of plants, straight line configuration. It didn't look normal for wild growth."

Lt. Michael Ryle, of the Chicago Police Narcotics Unit, said of the discovery: "This would be one of the biggest in recent years."

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the operators of the field likely would have sold the pot and used the cash to buy weapons, which fuels violent crime.

Police have not made any arrests but are using DNA testing and other investigative strategies to try to find the person who had been watching over the pot farm.

A city truck driver tells WBBM Newsradio he called police yesterday afternoon when he saw a man running from the area while the helicopter was overhead.

The Department of Streets and Sanitation cut down the plants on Wednesday morning, and the city's Bomb and Arson Unit will be in charge of destroying them.

Front-end loaders arrive at scene of a huge marijuana field on the South Side. (Credit: Susanna Song/CBS)
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