updated 8/10/2007 6:30:41 PM ET 2007-08-10T22:30:41

Investigators seized about 40,000 marijuana plants from a closed area of the Yakama Indian Reservation, but authorities believed members of the tribe were not responsible.

A helicopter spied the pot farm during a routine surveillance flight Wednesday by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Guard, said Lt. Richard Wiley of the Washington State Patrol.

A flight earlier this year turned up 11,000 more plants on the reservation, he said.

Wiley said it was “Mexican drug trafficking organizations growing out there and not members of the tribe.” Tribal leaders “are working very hard to get this activity off of their lands,” he said.

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