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Mexican authorities find massive marijuana plantation

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Massive pot plantation in Mexico
  • The plantation is 168 times the size of the field in Mexico City's soccer stadium
  • It is located about six hours south of Tijuana, Mexico, the military says
  • Gen. Alfonos Duarte Mugica says soldiers will destroy the seized drugs

Tijuana, Mexico (CNN) -- Hidden between tomato stalks, the Mexican army found what officials describe as the largest marijuana plantation in the nation, a top military official announced Thursday.

Gen. Alfonso Duarte Mugica said the plantation six hours south of Tijuana is 168 times larger than the soccer field in Mexico City's Azteca Stadium. It spans for 120 hectares (about 300 acres), he said.

Tomatoes growing there hid marijuana plants that were up to 2.5 meters (8.2. feet) tall, Duarte said.

Authorities detained six people this week during the operation to seize the field, which is located in the area of Ensenada, Baja California.

The takeover means drug traffickers will not receive 1.8 billion pesos ($153 million), he said, apparently referring to an estimated sales value of the crop.

Duarte said 250 soldiers will destroy the drugs seized within the next week.

Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon's administration began in December 2006, officials have destroyed more than 83,251 hectares (206,000 acres) of marijuana, according to a report from the country's defense department.

Journalist Jose Israel Ibarra of contributed to this report.