LAS ANIMAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — The Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office says it busted 40 illegal marijuana cultivation sites during the summer — seizing drugs with a black market street value of $5.7 million.
Since late May, the sheriff’s office has eradicated approximately 5,904 illicit marijuana plants, officials announced Monday. Another 5,000 and 15,000 illicit marijuana plants were identified, but have not been destroyed yet because they were found to have been sprayed with a toxic pesticide called Carbofuron.
“Officials are currently working with environmental specialists to safely remove and eradicate these grow sites and remaining chemicals,” the sheriff’s office stated.
Illegal grows were located in the Las Animas Ranch subdivision, the Fisher’s Peak Ranch subdivision and the surrounding area.
Investigators arrested Ronnie Thursby, 40, Deven Thursby, 23, Denis Street, 34, and Christopher Huxtable, 31. They face charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute – over 50 pounds, and cultivation of marijuana – over 30 plants. They are currently being held at the Las Animas County Detention Facility. Their bond is set at $50,000.
Authorities also arrested 40-year-old Heath Rigmaiden. Rigmaiden faces charges of cultivation of marijuana – over 30 plants. He posted a $45,000.00 bond and was released from custody.
Investigators also seized six firearms during the months-long operation.