Police have just discovered nearly $750,000 worth of weed unceremoniously dumped in remote Arizona woodlands.
Last week, US Forest Service personnel discovered what they thought was a huge pile of trash on federal forest land in Yavapai County, near Rimrock. Closer investigation revealed that the pile consisted of individually-wrapped, vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana flower. The Forest Service notified the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO), who discovered a total of 48 pounds of weed, split into 30 packages. Deputies also discovered another bag that contained several sheets of pre-packaged THC wax.
The YCSO contacted Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT), Yavapai County's multi-agency drug enforcement task force. Six hours after discovering the first batch of packages, PANT received a second call from the Sedona Police Department, who reported that they had found even more marijuana packages dumped in a wooded area within city limits.
PANT detectives arrived on the scene, and discovered another 230 packages similar to the ones found on Forest Service land. Each package weighed in at 1.5 pounds, for a total of over 357 pounds of flower. Another package containing 7.5 pounds of THC wax was also discovered nearby.
In total, the street value of the haul comes close to three-quarters of a million dollars, with $648,000 of flower and $100,000 of wax.
Police are asking anyone who has any knowledge about the case to leave a tip on a local hotline. Callers can leave their tips anonymously, but police have offered a cash reward to anyone that leaves a tip that leads to arrests.
Finding such a huge amount of weed may seem like a stoner’s dream come true, but police warn that black market stashes could be dangerous.
“Contraband loads may be booby-trapped and/or may contain dangerous chemicals/additives which could be harmful to humans,” the YCSO said in a statement. “Don’t take a chance, especially if it is not clearly evident as to the content upon sight.”
So far, law enforcement still have no idea why someone would abandon such a massive stash of weed, but US forest lands are known to be a popular area for black market weed cultivation. Many of these illegal growers use illegal pesticides on these grows, and often leave behind trash, pesticide residue, and other waste when they abandon these sites. Runoff from these toxic pesticides has seeped into the soil of these forests, killing wildlife and polluting waterways.