(ROME) — Italian police said they have discovered $3.7 million-worth of marijuana in a sprawling, sophisticated pot farm hidden deep in an abandoned, Mussolini-era section of Rome’s subway system.
Authorities said they stumbled onto the find after police on regular patrol in the area noticed the scent of marijuana wafting from a section of the subway tunnels that reportedly were abandoned during the Second World War.
Officers followed their noses through what turned out to be a hidden door in a brick wall Saturday and found a large, highly sophisticated pot growing operation with hundreds of plants lined down the tunnels, precise scales on work desks and a fully functional lighting system, according to a statement and video posted online Monday by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza. Police also discovered several trash bags full of what appeared to be marijuana plants as well as bags of smoke-ready pot.
In all, the Italian police said they confiscated approximately 750 pounds of narcotics, worth an estimated $3.7 million on the street. The alleged owner of the farm, who was not identified, was taken into custody, the Guardia di Finanza statement said.
“It was a very organized group, which had invested significantly,” Col. Stefano Corsi told The New York Times. ”It was a regular business. It was a very sophisticated operation.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN
Lauren del Valle, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN