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Hiker finds $7 million marijuana grow in Colorado forest

DENVER — Officials in south-central Colorado seized 7,400 marijuana plants worth an estimated $7 million from the San Isabel National Forest.

Investigators encountered two people at the grow site on Friday, but they fled. No arrests have been made.

The Pueblo County sheriff has said four other marijuana growing operations found on or near the forest since 2012 are believed to be connected to a Mexican cartel. Detectives are still investigating whether this grow is connected to the others.

Two growing operations were busted in August 2012 and more than 13,000 plants valued at $40 million were seized. A third was found in October 2015 and another was found on private land last July.

A hiker stumbled onto the grow operation northwest of the town of Rye.

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