Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Army finds Mexico's biggest marijuana plantation


Mexican soldiers have found the largest marijuana plantation ever detected in Mexico, a huge field covering almost 300 acres (120 hectares), the Defense Department said Thursday.

The plantation is four times larger than the previous record discovery by authorities at a ranch in northern Chihuahua state in 1984.

The pot plants sheltered under black screen-cloth in a huge square on the floor of the Baja California desert, more than 150 miles (250 kilometers) south of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego.

Army Gen. Alfonso Duarte said the screening, which is often used by regular farmers to protect crops from too much sun or heat, made it difficult to detect from the air what was growing underneath.

It was only when soldiers on the ground reached the isolated area Tuesday that they found thousands of pot plants as high as 2.5 yards (meters) tall. The average height of the plants was about 1.5 yards (meters). Duarte said they were not yet ready for harvest.

"We estimate that in this area, approximately 60 people were working. When they saw the military personnel, they fled," Duarte told reporters. A few were later reportedly detained at a nearby roadblock, but Duarte said no arrests were made at the scene.

He said traffickers could have harvested about 120 tons of marijuana from the plantation, worth about 1.8 billion pesos (about $160 million).

Video of the plantation showed a sophisticated system of piped-in irrigation to support the plants, which Duarte said was fed by two wells. The plantation also included some wooden outbuildings, presumably for use by people caring for the plants.

Troops will destroy the fields by burning them, Duarte said.

The site is the near the coastal town of San Quintin. Journalists were en route there Thursday under army escort.

While it's unknown how much of Mexican drug cartels' income comes from marijuana, recent discoveries suggest it remains a large-scale trade.

Last October, Mexican authorities made their largest-ever seizure of marijuana packaged for sale, a record 148 tons (134 metric tons) found in a number of tractor trailers and houses in Tijuana. They appeared to make up a major distribution center traced directly to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted fugitive, who has expanded the reach of his Sinaloa cartel along the U.S.-Mexico border since escaping from prison in 2001.

In November, U.S. and Mexican investigators found two long, sophisticated tunnels under the border between Baja California and California, along with more than 40 tons of marijuana in and around the tunnels.

The tunnels ran about 2,000 feet from Mexico to San Diego and were equipped with lighting, ventilation and a rail system for drugs to be carried on a small cart.

U.S. officials say they believe the tunnels also were the work of the Sinaloa cartel.

While the Arellano Felix or Tijuana cartel long dominated the drug trade in Baja California, the cartel has been greatly weakened by government hits on its leadership, and authorities say there are signs that the Sinaloa cartel now also operates in the area.

Duarte said he did not know which group operated the plantation found Tuesday.

Jorge Duenes/Reuters: An army helicopter casts a shadow over parts of the biggest marijuana plantation found in Mexico, in San Quintin, about 350 km (220 miles) away from Tijuana.


  1. The cartels need to start growing the herbalessence in large warehouses using heat lamps to avoid detection. Also they'll have to take over the country using more brutal means if they want to stop nosey people from coming into their place of business. More plantations will have to be planted throughout all the states if they want to remain one step ahead. Better marketing strategies need to be implemented also as to how to make the herb even more popular both in the United States and in Mexico. Sad to say they may even need to start growing Salvia to offer their customers other options and variety. Either way, it looks like they won't be dissuaded in their initiative.

  2. lol at Sinaloa cartel may be operating in the area. Yeah, this is probably Sinaloa, or a joint operation, or something along those lines.

  3. It's pretty funny how you get this sinaloa dick riders, praising that cartel. you muthafuckas need to stop listening to those fantasy corridos and get back to reality.

  4. Wow what a sight.

  5. @July 14 9:47PM - Your idea is terrible. First off, you don't use "heat lamps" to grow weed. You use HID lamps. Second, large warehouses filled with grow lights would give off incredibly significant IR signatures to any airplane or helicopter equipped to spot them.

    There are hundreds of links about busts due to this, here is just one of them:

    Also, don't forget about the massive amount of electricity needed to power these warehouses. A bypass of such magnitude would surely be noticed by the power company and get busted too, even without the helicopters.

  6. 10 37 no ones dick riding them. J only mentioned that its prob cds becouse they operate in the area. Which they do in the baja. Could be tijuana but I doubt it. But who knows

  7. @ July 14 11:53

    Speak when you have a clue. Plasma and LED is the new source. You live in the 70's along with your issue of High Times.

  8. trying to make it up to el MZ and now its lost.i wonder if this has anything to do with the marijuana el Mayo lost?

    el TRIple6

  9. I need to increase my weed budget.... price will go up

  10. @2:34 el TRiple6 - wow what a cool name. so subtle and yet so obviously badass. And your comment clearly shows that you have inside info. Are you a real sicario or maybe a capo?

    @1:02 Do you have a clue? Or just a hard on for 11:53?

    @4:57 if you have to budget for drugs you shouldn't be using them.

  11. @July 15, 2011 1:02 AM

    Please don't even think you can grow anything with UFOs better than SPNA. :)

  12. Who in the fuck said anything about cheap ebay UFO's? Real LED's at 600 watts will run you almost 3000 dollars. It is obvious you know nothing about growing.

  13. Army Gen. Alfonso Duarte said the screening, which is often used by regular farmers to protect crops from too much sun or heat, made it difficult to detect from the air what was growing underneath.

    They knew that weed was there the whole time. The smell would have gone out for miles. It was just time to bust someone's balls. Gimme a break.

  14. If ur spending 3 grand on LED grow lights ur retarded. HPS works just fine. And since when does mexico have IR sensors? Lol

  15. N--
    LOL, at all these comments. What you see is most likely an independent operation with support from Sinaloa and approval from Tijuana. Rarely do the cartel affiliates get in the business of growing it, but they rather extort it since its easier to extort than grow it your self.

    Whoever was running this operation had a very good idea and set up. You gotta love the natural sunlight, way better than HID, LED, etc. This area has all kinds of grow ops. This is just one of many.

  16. thiz shi!!! iz petty compared 2 the 1000-hectere marijuana plantation known as 'Rancho Búfalo they found bac in the 80s ', where more than 10,000 farmers work... only diffence tho, is this was worth about 8 billion.. i think thiz waz run by Rafael Caro Quintero or muguel gallardo

  17. The second picture looks like a marijuana ocean

  18. That second picture is what heaven looks like.

  19. sources from the military that were part of the operation said that this plantation belong to el chapo guzman since he is the one that operates mostly in that region also they detained two armed men who are from the state of sinaloa,they didnt fire a shot. they also mention that the sinaloa cartel is disputing the territory of tecate with the arellano felix cartel,,also they mentioned that in 25 days this weed would of been ready.ALSO that this weed was worth about 158 million dollars.

  20. Reggie brick weed who cares!!!!!! THC count is 1% to 3% takes you an ounce to get high buy american all you need is 1/4 ounce of dank and you are set!!!!!

  21. @ 1:02 - Yes the world's most respected growers, the world's most respected seed banks, and the winners of multiple Cannabis Cups are all stuck in the 70's along with me and my copy of High Times. You're a fool - come talk some shit when you've actually seen a pot plant in real life...I'll even give you credit if you've seen a sprouted seedling - you goof. Run your mouth on something you know something about, cause you don't know a thing about growing weed, and it's blatantly obvious. Dumb-ass.

    @ 11:56 AM - You're a fool if you spend $3,000 on a grow light. Why don't you do some research into what the seed bank companies and the compassion clubs are using...still HPS and MH. I wonder why ? Maybe because they work ? So many fools in here talking about growing that have probably never even see a plant in real life.

  22. I like anon's comment about living in the 70's with your issue of hightimes...LMAO..thank you! I remember getting that magazine like as if it was porn when I was 15yrs old.

    I agree, they knew it was there for a long time....You can only imagine the stench...someone high up protected it for as long as they could until political pressure from the US or from high up in Mexico came down on them or someone screwed $$ pay offs to the right people. Either way, they KNEW it was there.
    Personally I get uncomfortable from these busts because it more than likely puts more focus on extortion, kidnapping etc...these guys have to earn their money somehow and they are the ones with the guns so they do as they want.

  23. Amazing, wish I can have that on my backyard.

  24. @minor600..

    I researched your claim..the reality is 200 acres were found on Buffalo Ranch, employing 10K workers, until now it was the largest known pot plantation. DIscovery took place in November 1984.

    Previous to that was on September 12, 2005 105 AC at Villa Coronada Chihuahua

    the farms were only 200 mi apart

  25. some real knowledgeable potheads who is gonna represent the good "ol days of Alcapulco gold..Oaxacan ..mish mah can..or was it Michigan..ohh yeah ..Michoacan..

    puff puff pass pendejos..

    i have heard it said that those pure sativas strains were more of an up ,trippy psychedelic high, as compared to the indica , hit in the head with a brick effects..

    but i am sure high times aka dea times...and all the loyal readers know all about it ...correctamente?.... indo ho's?

  26. "Holy shit, Someone didn't get their bribe!!"
    July 14, 2011 9:41 PM

    totally agree!!!

  27. "They knew that weed was there the whole time. The smell would have gone out for miles. It was just time to bust someone's balls. Gimme a break."

    Belive it or not the Mexican army lives to see and make busts like these. Let't suppose the odor would smell for "miles"? Does that make a any diffrence in the middle of the desert out in thw middle of no where?

    Reggie brick weed who cares!!!!!! THC count is 1% to 3% takes you an ounce to get high buy american all you need is 1/4 ounce of dank and you are set!!!!!

    Your typical American ghetto trash gangbanger probably does care because his street pice will rise.

  28. I totally love the fact that the article says that the Army found this amazing gift from god when clearly it is not the army according to the picture i am positive those are marines

  29. you all wrong!! i live in mex and usually this happends to make the GOV look better the reallity is once is out on the news then they live it as it is and move on they never cut it or do anything with it so is like nothing happend.... they get their share the gov looks better on the news bec they supposely got this and then the trafickers are left alone so they still sale it .... lol

  30. I only got one thing to say the border patrol are useless and at one point we all were immigrants and we all smoke weed they should just legalized the dammed thing and stop taxing us the people so mush that's the reason why so mush people are dying in Mexico and only thing we care about is how many mcdonalds we can stuff in our mouths

  31. I think if the police burned that field the tide is turning against the cartels >XD


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