Authorities remove marijuana plants from a farm field in southern Indiana in this undated photo. A marijuana eradication effort took place Aug. 17-28, 2015. (Provided by Indiana State Police)

Indiana air sweeps yield $7.5 million in illegal marijuana crops

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Police say a multi-agency sweep of marijuana growing operations in southern Indiana has seized nearly 4,900 plants from 146 plots with an estimated street value as high as $7.5 million dollars.

Police said Wednesday that the Aug. 17-28 operation resulted in 16 arrests and the additional seizures of more than 4 pounds of processed marijuana, six weapons, $3,000, and a methamphetamine lab.

Police say the effort targeted growing operations in the Hoosier National Forest and other remote, state- and federally owned properties. They say aircraft surveys were supported by ground teams.

Also participating in the sweep were the Indiana National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Forest Service, Civil Air Patrol, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and local law enforcement agencies.