Thirteen Twin Cities defendants made court appearances Thursday on charges of running a massive, indoor marijuana operation.
Federal authorities said a total of 18 people face federal drug charges in the case. They said authorities seized more than 3,300 marijuana plants in Coon Rapids, Elk River, Lake St. Croix Beach, Ramsey, Savage and Shakopee.
Police say they also found evidence of related growing operations in Cottage Grove, St. Michael and St. Paul Park. They also seized nearly $250,000 in cash.
One DEA official said it was part of a disturbing trend of indoor marijuana growing operations in Minnesota. The agency, the West Metro drug task force and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office are investigating.
Police said the operation had been running since at least February, and was still running when police conducted raids around the Twin Cities on Tuesday.