(Courtesy El Paso County Sheriff's Office)

Colorado’s first big illegal grow raids of 2018: hundreds of plants seized

FALCON, Colo. — Authorities say they seized marijuana, guns and cash after raiding three illegal growing operations in a rural area northeast of Colorado Springs.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says 175 plants, 5 pounds (2 kilograms) of processed marijuana, two firearms and $5,000 in cash were taken during the Wednesday raids near Falcon.

Authorities say one person was arrested and one of the guns was stolen.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby told The Gazette that a priority of the sheriff is “really hitting these illegal marijuana grows hard.”

Kirby says authorities have observed an increase in violent crime connected to illegal grows.

Authorities seized 233 marijuana plants and arrested two people after raiding another grow in eastern El Paso County last week.