photo - District attorney George Brauchler, right, discusses the indictments of 16 people who were arrested for a multi-county illegal marijuana cultivation and distribution network at the DEA offices March 17, 2017 in Centennial, Colorado. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
District attorney George Brauchler, right, discusses the indictments of 16 people who were arrested for a multi-county illegal marijuana cultivation and distribution network at the DEA offices March 17, 2017 in Centennial, Colorado. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post) 

DENVER (AP) — Sixteen people have been accused of running a massive home-grown marijuana operation in the greater Denver area.

The Denver Post reported Friday that authorities say over about three years, the group used houses in places like Colorado Springs, Elbert County and Denver to cultivate marijuana and then make big-dollar deals to sell it in Illinois, Arkansas, Minnesota and Missouri.

Authorities began investigating the operation in August after investigators searched an Elizabeth property where they found more than 2,500 pounds of marijuana, which officials estimate is worth about $5 million.

18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler says this is the largest such case he has ever seen.

Authorities over the past year have been focusing on cracking down on marijuana being illegally grown in homes for out-of-state sale.

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