Photo: A Colorado National Guard Black Hawk helicopter delivers a load of marijuana and grow supplies Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, to the Boulder County Road Transportation complex in Longmont. (Lewis Geyer / Longmont Times-Call)
A Black Hawk helicopter on loan from the Army National Guard made three trips in and out of the Boulder County foothills Tuesday, hauling dug-up marijuana plants and equipment away from what officials say was an illegal grow operation discovered last week.
In total, Cmdr. Scott Williams of the Boulder County Drug Task Force estimated the law enforcement team that broke up the clandestine operation confiscated between 300 and 400 juvenile marijuana plants worth at least $100,000.
The investigation into who is behind the grow, nestled among the pine trees on private land in the South St. Vrain Canyon, is ongoing, Williams said.
“I would say that these were experienced people that knew what they were doing, and I believe they may have been the same people who were here before,” Williams said, referencing a larger-scale operation that law enforcement officials discovered on the opposite side of the same canyon in 2011.
“We think it is some kind of drug trafficking organization,” he said. “We don’t know if it is an organization out of Mexico, but we don’t believe it is a local organization.”
Boulder County officials were alerted Aug. 26 after hikers stumbled across the pot farm, said Cmdr. Heidi Prentup of the Sheriff’s Office.