Spainish police bust marijuana plantation set up by inmate on prison leave

MADRID – Spanish authorities say an inmate has set up what police say is the country’s largest outdoor illegal marijuana plantation.

The 47-year-old Spaniard set up the operation within a 7.4 acre olive grove purchased while on prison leave, Interior Ministry spokesman Federico Pozuelo says.

The prisoner relied on a 59-year-old Lithuanain assistant to tend 75,000 cannabis plants weighing five metric tons. The drugs are valued at 5 million euros ($7.4 million CAD).

Police say the farm, situated in central Albacete, was surrounded by a protective perimeter wall of dung and garbage that masked the plants’ telltale aroma.

Two Spaniards, three Moroccans and a Lithuanian were arrested, Pozuelo said. One suspect was armed with a loaded handgun at the time of the arrests, police said Saturday.

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