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July 20, 2012

Growing Green

Sheriff’s department discovers 27 plants near Rockholds

CORBIN —

By Charlotte Underwood, Staff Writer

Thanks to efforts of the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, $24,000 worth of marijuana will never reach the streets.

Members of the sheriff’s department spent most of Thursday hiking in near 100-degree temperatures searching for marijuana plants in the mountains and hollows of the county.

“It’s prime growing season right now and we had several complaints from members of the community about grow activity in their area,” said Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell.

In total, 27 plants were found near the Rockholds community, though only 12 of them were still living.

“The drought did some of our work for us,” Harrell said. The remainder of the plants will be destroyed.

“If all 12 reached maturity and reached average height, then the street value would be about $2,000 each,” said Whitley County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy KY Fuson, who has searched for dope all over the state of Kentucky over the past 20 years.

The sheriff’s department searched in the Verne and Corn Creek areas as well.

Looking for marijuana plants is no easy task as many of the patches are in remote areas of the county.

“You can be within a couple of feet of the plant and still not see it right now because the plants are not that high yet,” Harrell said, explaining as harvest season approached in the fall, the plants would get easier to spot.

The searches were all a reult from anonymous tips.

“It’s a community nuisance and the public is starting to get more involved in helping the law enforcement. It’s a good thing, and means they have trust in the law enforcement,” Harrell said, adding he hoped the tips kept coming in.

Harrell said that while the days of the 1,000-plant marijuana crops are about over due to helicopter surveillance, he still felt that marijuana growing was on the comeback.

“It’s never gone out of style, just went down a little,” Harrell said.

Anyone with information or tips can contact the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department at 606-549-6006.

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