TORRANCE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) - Police are searching the Manzano Mountains for four armed men suspected of running a major marijuana grow.
The Torrance County sheriff say two brothers who stumbled upon the cash crop are lucky to be alive.
This is a full-blown manhunt on the ground and from the air as state police and sheriff's deputies comb the Cibola National Forest for four men with assault rifles.
This all started at about 4:30 Monday morning when Torrance County deputies got a call from a man in his late 40's early 50's who said he was hunting with his brother.
The man told deputies the two came across a big marijuana grow in the woods when four men started shooting at them with semi-automatic guns.
The two brothers ran but got separated.
A little before noon, state police and Torrance County deputies found the other brother unharmed and the grow site about 4 miles away.
Helicopters tracked the four suspected weed growers from the air but lost the trail as they entered thick forest in the mountains.
Officers on the ground are working to bring the suspects in.
Sheriff White says they were defending an operation of about 200 to 300 pot plants.
"We caught them right at the very end they were already harvesting their grow so the whole plantation was in the million dollar range but what we're actually going to get is in the $40,000 to -$50,000 range," Sheriff Heath White said.
Sheriff White says that while the suspects are considered armed and dangerous, he is confident that they do not pose a threat to people who live in the area.
All day an ambulance could be seen standing by in case a gunfight breaks out.
Adding to the mystery, the two brothers told deputies they were hunting before sunrise but investigators have not found their guns.
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