Phoenix, AZ (KPHO) — A tip from hunters led to the discovery of more than 12,000 marijuana plants growing on federal land near Wikieup.
The Bureau of Land Management and the Drug Enforcement Administration along with other agencies eradicated the plants near the Big Sandy River in Mohave County and destroyed the infrastructure housing them.
BLM and DEA had begun their investigation on the land in February 2012, and were eventually granted a search warrant.
The four men were arrested and charged with drug, immigration and state game violations. They are identified as Leopoldo Deniz-Ochoa, 27; Noe Isreal Cardenas-Delgado, 34; Andres Casillas-Alvarez, 54; and Jose Casillas-Castaneda, 29.
The cultivation areas were equipped with an irrigation system, which included generators to pump water to man-made reservoirs that were lined with plastic and camouflaged with cut vegetation and debris.
Water was gravity-fed from the reservoirs to the cultivation areas through irrigation piping. Marijuana plants were then watered through dripping pipes, which were located throughout the cultivation areas.
BLM law enforcement will introduce a rehabilitation program for the land with efforts from fire crews and the BLM Colorado River District.