By Amy Redd
More than $1.7 million worth of marijuana was seized from a field in Tallapoosa County during a sweep last week.
Investigators from the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force, along with several other local agencies, assisted the Alabama Bureau of Investigation's Alabama Marijuana Eradication Program in recovering 891 marijuana plants from large cut over areas near Langley Road, Buttston Road and Sandy Creek Road during a routine helicopter sweep Thursday and Friday. The Tallapoosa County Sheriff's Department, Alexander City Police Department, Alexander City Fire Department and the New Site Police Department also participated in the eradication program.
Task Force Investigator Jay Turner said the ABI conducts marijuana eradication sweeps twice a year.
"The marijuana plants were found near a burn pile where land had been cleared," he said. "The area was not easily accessible. We had to use four-wheelers to get out there and then walk the rest of the way to get to the plants."
Seven marijuana plants were recovered from a kudzu patch behind a residence on Highway 50 in Camp Hill. The recovered marijuana has a street value of approximately $1,782,000 and the seized plants ranged in size from eight inches to five feet, Turner said. The state of Alabama values each recovered mature marijuana plant at $2,000 regardless of size.
"The amount found in this sweep was above what was found last year," Turner said. "One year we'll find a lot and the next year we won't find any."
Though the case is still under investigation, at the present time investigators did not expect to make an arrest in connection with the recovery of the plants, Turner said. He said it was often difficult to determine who owned the plants due to the remoteness of the locations in which they are grown.
"In some cases, we have been able to tie the plants to a house and make an arrest," Turner said. "But a lot of times, they plant on someone else's land and it's hard to tie it back to them and make an arrest."
These are the same goons who flew over me in 2002 and subsequently launched my career in drug policy reform. You can watch the video of that raid HERE.
I haven't seen or heard the choppers out near my home this year....but I've got the video camera at the ready because I know they will come.