By Patrick McCreless
Alex City Outlook
It is not every day one comes across $3 million growing in the wild.
Members of the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force and other agencies spent much of their time tending to someone else's garden near Camp Hill Thursday, where they recovered 1,742 marijuana plants worth $2,000 apiece, for a total of $3,484,000. The illegal garden was located off of Germany Ferry Road and Highway 89 North.
"It was spotted in the air by pilots," said Investigator Jay Turner of the task force.
Turner said the helicopter pilots were part of the marijuana eradication program run by the state. "They come by twice a year for two days a year," he said. "It's usually a state or national guard helicopter."
Although the marijuana was not growing near a residence, Turner said it was definitely taken care of by someone. Many of the plants were trimmed. Also, the plants were surrounded by pieces of burned lumber, which would add nutrients to the soil. "
Someone was maintaining it," Turner said.
However, that someone has yet to be determined. No suspects have been listed.
Still, the seizure was significant to be sure. The plants were very mature, which you normally see grown near residences, Turner said. He said discoveries like this vary from year to year. Some years large gardens of marijuana are found in fields, while other years they are found near residences.
It took several agencies to locate and collect all the plants. Besides the marijuana eradication team, members of the Chambers County Narcotics Task Force, the Alexander City, Dadeville and New Site Police Departments, and the Alexander City Fire Department all pitched in. The personnel all donated their time for this, Turner said.
"I'd like to thank everybody for being involved in this," said Chief Avery Morris of the ACPD.
For Morris, the seizure was completely legitimate, but he did not want any lingering doubts.
"If you feel like your marijuana was taken by mistake, you can call me," he said.
Turner said the helicopter pilots were part of the marijuana eradication program run by the state. "They come by twice a year for two days a year,"
---------Two days a year? They usually spend at least that much time in my community.
Does this mean we're not gonna get raided this year? Damn, I feel kinda neglected. Don't they love us anymore?
So far they have seized my catnip and my horsemint and so this year I have prepared a special crop of hibiscus that I figured they would really enjoy stealing but they don't even bother to show up.
I hate to see my work go unrecognized.
Well, I can always hope for September.
Loretta Nall 2004 Trial Transcript