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Federal Raiders Say Leaves on Its Two Acres Would Retail at $1,000,000.


Arrest of Two Mexicans Leads to Discovery Among Tomatoes, Corn and Pumpkins.

Special to The New York Times, October 4. 1936

BALTIMORE, Oct. 3. -- A well-planned and highly cultivated marihuana farm, disguised to look like a cornfield, was discovered today at the eastern edge of the city by police and Federal agents, who said the leaves on plants would be worth $1,000,000 on the retail market.

Describing the farm as "one of the biggest ever found in this country," the Federal officers estimated the growing crop at five tons. The plants bearing the narcotic leaves were much larger than the usual bushes grown in this country, and the two acres of land had evidently been well worked and fertilized.

Going to the eastern part of the city after questioning two Mexicans, seized in a raid yesterday, the agents had some difficulty in finding the farm, two blocks over the city line in the Graceland Park section.

When they did discover the place, it looked more like a cornfield than anything else. Tomato plants and pumpkins were also found, growing along a small stream bisecting the two-acre field.

But closer inspection showed that to almost all the larger cornstalks the cultivators had wired marihuana trees. Some of the plants were ten feet high and the agents estimated that the first had gone into the ground three years ago.

3,000 Plants on Farm

The 3,000 drug plants were mostly toward the center of the field, so that they could hardly be observed by a passer-by, according to the agents.

The marihuana was of a high grade and the plants had probably been imported here from Mexico, the agents said. The yield from the farm was apparantly high, they added, and in all probability the dried leaves of the plants were "wholesaled" in other parts of the country.

Most of the leaves were still green, unfit for immediate use. They must be dried and shredded, much like tobacco, before they can be used for marihuana cigarettes.

Prices for the cigarettes are high, and dealers in Baltimore have sold them three for a quarter. Sometimes, though, inactive ingredients are added to the marihuana cigarettes by dealers who want to stretch out their supply of the drug by adulteration. In the raids yesterday the police found 345 pounds of dried leaves in two houses. They said this quantity of the drug was worth about $20,000.

Crop to Be Destroyed

The Mexicans seized in the raids, Ruby Sanchez and Joseph Martinez, were both held for grand jury action today in the Northwestern Police Court. Martinez was held on charges of possessing the leaves and also fro growing the trees. Sanchez was held only on a possession charge.

Agents said Martinez admitted having rented the field, but that he denied having anything to do with the narcotic plants.

The raiders today were John B. Kelly and Paul G. Brigham, Federal agents; Lieutenant Oscar Kock of the northwestern district, and J. W. Quillen, Federal chemist here.

Harry J. Anslinger, Federal narcotics chief in Washington, was notified of the seizure, and the agents said that all the plants would have to be dug up and burned. Meanwhile, a police guard will be posted at the farm to prevent any casual "harvesting" operations.

Some time ago a field of marihuana bushes was found growing in New York, but the agents said that the Baltimore field was much larger and far more valuable.

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