(John Locher, Associated Press)

Mississippi uprooting 4-acre marijuana farm

PRENTISS, Miss. — Mississippi officials are uprooting what they’re calling the largest outdoor marijuana farm they’ve seen since the 1980s.

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics tells local media that they got a tip that someone was growing marijuana in Jefferson Davis County, and that a helicopter found five fields of flourishing plants spread over more than 4 acres (1.6 hectares).

Director John Dowdy said Thursday that narcotics agents are cutting a road into the site with a bulldozer, removing the plants and burning some.

With each mature plant yielding a pound of processed marijuana, Dowdy says all the marijuana at the site near Prentiss could have sold for more than $20 million.

Dowdy said agents found a patch with 5,000 more plants at the Jefferson Davis County site on Friday, bringing the total found to 20,000.

An underground bunker and generators were also found, but authorities say they don’t yet know who was running the farm.

Dowdy says it’s a “huge task” to find, count and destroy so many marijuana plants. Helping the bureau are other law enforcement agencies, local and state government and a private construction company.