Special to The Ely Times 

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies along with the U.S. Forest Service and other organizations discovered and destroyed an illegal marijuana growing operation in Irwin Canyon, located in northern Nye County, on Sept. 14.  The location is just 82 miles south between Ely and Tonopah. 

The location, containing 5,742 cannabis plants, was found to be unoccupied, though authorities saw signs that grow workers had recently been there. With ther average weight of at least one pound of finished product per plant, the growing operation could have yielded 6,000 pounds of marijuana.  

Grows of this type are predominately operated by major drug cartels the sheriffs office said. The amount of finished product is worth roughly $15 million.   

The environmental effects of a grow of this size are serious, according to the sheriff’s office. Large amounts of dangerous chemicals and pesticides were discovered at the Irwin Canyon site, and the trees surrounding the grow had been topped to allow sun to reach the plants.  

Trees topped in such a manner do not survive, the sheriffs office said.  Anyone with information on possible suspects is urged to contact the sheriffs office at the detective division at 775-751-7000 or sheriff@co.nye.nv.us.