State officials bust another large illegal marijuana grow property in Kay County this week. But this is just one of many The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics has seen in the last year.
Mark Woodward with OBN says they've seized 4-dozen illegal grow operations around the state since April.
"It goes far beyond just marijuana," said Woodward. "When you're talking about criminal organizations getting a foothold here and destroying what has been a very successful marijuana program for the first 2 and a half years."
Several tips from concerned citizens led to Kay County detectives seizing between 2,700 and 3,000 illegal plants at this property near Kaw City. Woodward says this is just one of many cases they've followed up on this year.
"Probably all 77 counties we have different cases we're working, tied to various groups that are growing illegally in the state of Oklahoma," Woodward said.
A search warrant was made Thursday morning for this property in Kay County. The Sheriff's office says multiple people were detained and it's estimated the street value of these plants to be near $3 million. OBN says neighbors and farmers in these communities are also being affected.
"They're having water stolen from them," said Woodward. "They're having electricity stolen from them through these illegal hookups."
Woodward says it's not going to get any easier unless they continue to try and get a head start in shutting these properties down. He says Oklahoma is now the leading exporter of marijuana in the U.S. supplying the black market on the east coast.
"There was a combination of factors that sent both legal and criminal organizations to Oklahoma as fast as they could," said Woodward. "To get land, to get a license, and start moving their product."