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Cops, DEA Break Up Record $10 Mil Pot Operation In Sullivan County

WURTSBORO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It is being described as the biggest indoor "home-grown" marijuana bust ever.

As many as 7,000 marijuana plants -- with a value of $10 million -- were found in seven houses across upstate Sullivan County, reports CBS 2's Pablo Guzman.

Sixteen people were arrested, including three women. They were brought from Sullivan County to the federal courthouse in White Plains because of this particular marijuana is not just any marijuana.

"This is a case of a harvested crop, moved somewhere else and sold in bulk," Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff said.

In other words, the suspects are not being accused of selling nickel bags next door, but growing $10 million worth of pot -- the largest indoor home-grown marijuana takedown ever, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. When the sheriffs realized the scope of it, they brought in the DEA because this was a wholesale operation.

"They look for a place that is secluded. You're not gonna smell the marijuana. People are not going to see who goes in and out," Sheriff Schiff said.

There was nothing to attract suspicion -- except for one property's unique fence, which sloped in tiers.

"I don't think you'll see fences like this anywhere else," one neighbor said.

Now the feds want to know who hired these 16 Latin American immigrants to grow millions of dollars worth of marijuana. At least 14 of the 16 people arrested are in the United States illegally.

Immigration authorities immediately put a detainer on them. When this marijuana case eventually ends, they will be deported.

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