CHICAGO, Ill. (CNN/WLS) -- Chicago police are confiscating up to $10 million worth of marijuana plants. The plants cover the span of two football fields and were spotted by a helicopter.
Set back about a couple hundred feet from Stoney Island and 107th, cannabis plants with some as tall as Christmas trees. Ofc. Ed Graney says, "Chicago police and a Cook County Sheriff's tactical flight officer spotted the mountain of marijuana, spanning two football fields from above, yesterday around noon. We dropped altitude. And we saw the corner, southwest corner, about five rows. We went in for a close look and we circled the entire area out there. Next thing we know, we looked at what we thought were about a couple of hundred plants. It turned out to be a lot more."
Lt. Michael Ryle says, "And that's how the helicopter found it. They got called out there and flew over it and saw what it looked liked. And they were able to determine by the patterns of the way the plants were going that they could see this."
Chicago police say they found more than a thousand of these marijuana plants in two different fields. They say that they were just about ready to harvest and look at this. The drug dealers, they say, were growing them at first in these cups.
Chicago police say it's the largest bust in the city in years possibly ever. Supt. Garry McCarthy says, "The plants were about six feet tall. At this point, the estimated value of this is somewhere between $7 million and $10 million. When I acquired how long would it take the plants to reach that height, the guess that we're making is that these were probably planted sometime in the spring."
If you peek through the trees and the marshy area, you can see a campsite where a grower and dealer slept and ate, police say, to protect the scene.
Now the city will begin the task of pulling out the plants and burning them. Ryle says, "The plan is going to be once we have a good path back there, streets and sans is working on a plan then to cut the plants down. We're going to have to bring them back out here, load them into trucks, and then take them to a spot where bomb and arson has --where it'll be destroyed; it'll be burned there."