A team effort by several law enforcement and other agencies has resulted in the confiscation of approximately $2.5 million in marijuana plants.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said detectives from the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, along with agents from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and tactical paramedics from Urgent Care Emergency Medical Services seized approximately 2,500 marijuana plants Tuesday and Wednesday during a two-day operation of marijuana eradication.
John Koch, of the narcotics unit, said a helicopter owned by the Ohio Department of Transportation and flown by an ODOT pilot is utilized on a regular basis for such searches. He said the copter comes in with a narcotics agent from BCI aboard and does an aerial surveillance.
“Most of the time, it is a routine flight to search for marijuana plants,” said Koch. “Sometimes we will search a specific area because of a tip to our narcotics unit, but we spot it, then go in and the eradication process begins.”
He said the Urgent Care EMS service has a tactical paramedic program that also is important in the process.
reasons. We are tromping through the hills, and someone could get hurt. Or, as in this case, (we get) out in the extreme heat and we need a medical person assisting us in case of heat exhaustion. These people do a great job,” said Koch.
Donini said that the plants were found in the areas of West Portsmouth,Friendship, McDermott and Otway.
Koch said that the plants were found far from any identifiable road in most cases.
“If this had been sold, the marijuana plants seized could have produced a street value of approximately $2.5 million,” Donini said.
He said the seizure of the plants has resulted in several cases being opened and investigated by the narcotics unit.
Donini said he appreciated all the cooperation involved in the seizure.
“I want to thank all the agencies that assisted in the operation and I recognize that if it wasn't for those agencies, the operation would not have been possible,” he said.
Anyone wishing to leave drug information can contact the Scioto County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit at (740) 351-1094. All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, Ext.232.