WEST STOCKBRIDGE — A weekend tip about more than 20 marijuana plants led investigators on a long walk through a farm field off West Center Road, where they discovered 482 illegally grown plants.
The plants ranged in size from 4 feet to 6 1/2 feet tall, said Police Chief Marc Portieri, who estimated the street value of the entire load at about $100,000.
"At least we got them off the street," he said, while standing next to a pile of the plants at a gravel bed excavation site off Baker Street, where police spent much of the day Tuesday burning them.
No arrests have been made yet, nor charges filed, but the discovery has set off an investigation. Police declined to say who owned the land where the plants were found.
Sgt. Rosario Messina said police had a "decent idea" of who might be responsible, but that it could be "hard to prove."
Messina said it took all seven members of the department to remove the plants.
"It's a lot of work — the plants were thick and had to be cut," he said. "We had to make a trail to get it all out."
Recreational marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but without a state license to grow commercially, the law allows residents to personally grow six plants. More than that can lead to criminal prosecution.
Heather Bellow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.