Authorities dismantle illegal marijuana grow site on Buffalo Pass; 2 Mexican nationals arrested

Steamboat Springs — Dressed in full tactical gear, a squad of Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies quietly headed into the Routt National Forest before sunrise Friday morning to secure and dismantle an illegal pot-growing site authorities had learned about on Buffalo Pass.

The squad of six was joined on the mission by a dozen federal officers.

Carrying 40 to 60 pounds of gear on their backs, they all walked three miles over rugged terrain with the help of a nearly full moon.

"I've been here a long time, and this is the first time I've had to participate in a mission like this," Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said.

The 18 federal officers and the deputies split into squads and were prepared to encounter potential dangers ranging from booby traps to armed men at the grow site.

A local helicopter service and search and rescue teams were on standby.


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