MABTON - 21 large marijuana plants were found along State Route 22 near Mabton Thursday.
According to the Washington State Patrol, the marijuana was planted in a drain that runs through a hay and corn field south of the highway. The state patrol began the investigation into the possible marijuana operation after receiving a tip that the plants were being grown.
The Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) taskforce team members searched an overgrown, bushy area for two hours before locating three separate marijuana grows next to the drain. The marijuana was mixed in with other vegetation.
"The plants were extremely large with large rooted stock. They were so large they had metal props to hold the plants up so they would continue to grow," according to the press release sent out by the Washington State Patrol.
Investigators believe the marijuana plants, which had large buds, were most likely started in an indoor grow and then transplanted next to the drain. The marijuana was most likely going to be harvested in the next two weeks, according to the state patrol.
According to LEAD, the plants would have produced about two pounds of marijuana each. The total street value of the drugs the plants would have produced is about $1,500 a pound or $63,000 total.
The plants were turned over to LEAD for disposal.
No arrests have been made, but an investigation is ongoing into who may be responsible for the growing operation.