The world may be in shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the illegal drug trade is still alive and well in Sin City.
Las Vegas law enforcement officers seized thousands of cannabis plants—which have a street value in the millions—in a record-breaking bust for Nevada.
During the raid detectives also discovered that a large part of the warehouse had been converted into a, "sophisticated illegal marijuana grow operation, which was dismantled with the help of several agencies".
Police officers uncovered approximately 5,700 cannabis plants worth an estimated $8.6 million as a result of the operation, which was the latest victory for a long-running investigation into sophisticated black market cultivation.
Reports from a local television station suggest that the successful raid may represent the "largest indoor marijuana grow house bust ever" in Nevada's history.
"A large portion of the warehouse had been converted into a sophisticated illegal marijuana grow operation," KTNV stated.
"[Investigators found lighting, ballasts, duct work, chemicals, charcoal filters and other items associated with a large-scale growth operation."
The 868 pounds of cannabis recovered during the raid were found inside a warehouse on Judson Avenue near Lamb Boulevard. It is still not clear if anybody was arrested during the raid, however it was confirmed that the multi-agency High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, "began several months ago and remains ongoing."
Although recreational cannabis has been legal in Nevada since 2017, many have expressed concern's about the strength of the state's black market, after it was noted that overall sales rates remain below the national average, despite the considerable boost brought on by COVID-19 panic buying.
"It's safe to say sales are below 50 percent state-wide, many stores are below that, and some are [temporarily] closed," Nevada Dispensary Association executive director Riana Durrett said.
"[It] was a mixture of the lack of capacity to meet the market demand through delivery, a drop in tourism and because people had already stocked up."
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