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2 charged with growing marijuana at Missouri wildlife refuge

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Two men have been charged with growing hundreds of marijuana plants at a federal wildlife refuge in central Missouri.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 26-year-old Carlos Vazguez and 23-year-old Rigaberto Canacho Reyes were charged Wednesday with possessing 100 or more marijuana plants with the intent to distribute.

Vazguez’s attorney declined to comment, and Reyes’ attorney didn’t immediately return a phone message.

Affidavits say law enforcement officers discovered the marijuana growing operation Tuesday at the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Howard County. Vazguez and Reyes were arrested at the site, and are in federal custody.

The affidavit says the operation encompassed about five acres and included five tents where marijuana was hung, dried, packaged and processed for delivery. Authorities said the plants were 5 to 6 feet tall.