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One of the grow sites is shown. (Drug Enforcement Agency)

About one acre of marijuana plants was destroyed during a joint operation between the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the DEA said in a release.

The acre site held four different marijuana growth areas, yielding a combined total of about 4,500 plants ranging from three to six feet tall. Each grow area also had an irrigation system.

The site was surrounded by a fence and a .22-caliber rifle was found..

"This eradication operation means that thousands of marijuana plants never made it into our neighborhoods," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman in the release. "DEA will continue to support our law enforcement partners in attacking all aspects of drug trafficking and the violence that goes hand in hand with the distribution of these harmful substances."

DEA and DPS, with the aid of the La Paz County Sheriff's Office, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Salome Fire Department, began investigating the area in the spring.

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