The Lake County Sheriff's Narcotics Task Force has destroyed 46,284 marijuana plants growing in a remote area near Middletown.

The crop was spotted on an aerial mission conducted by the task force on May 1, Sheriff's Lt. Steve Brooks said in a statement Friday.

Detectives hiked to the site in an area known as Black Oak, off Butts Canyon Road near the Lake-Napa county line on May 10, he said.

Two men were spotted running from the area, but they eluded capture, Brooks said. Officials will attempt to identify the suspects by examining a cellphone found at the growing site.

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