Pot plants worth $500,000 found

In the early morning hours of Thursday, the Merced County Sheriff's deputies hacked through thick weeds and berry bramble to uncover a marijuana grow near Merced.

The grow, which was spotted on the 1200 block of Yale Avenue by the Merced Sheriff's helicopter last week, consisted of about 600 mature plants, Sgt. Steve Sziraki said.

Sziraki said detectives found food and ammunition at the camp. He believed a worker fled after hearing deputies. The 240 pounds of marijuana removed have a street value of about $500,000. The owners of the property told Sziraki they had no idea there was a pot grow on their land.