FARMINGTON — Police think the drug dealers were trying to stay off the grid, not curb their carbon footprint, by using solar energy to grow marijuana.

New Mexico State Police Criminal Agents seized about 250 marijuana plants Monday that were between six- to eight-feet tall near Ojo Caliente in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico police Lt. Robert McDonald said.

The marijuana appeared ready for harvest, McDonald said.

The growers used a system of solar panels to power the illegal operation.

State police found a water line which was powered with solar panels. The water line was fed by a hand-dug well next to the marijuana plantation, McDonald said.

It is not uncommon for illegal marijuana growers to use solar energy to grow drugs, McDonald said.

The solar panels allow illegal marijuana operations to be self sufficient, he said.

The investigation is ongoing as police search for the marijuana growers.

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