$1M in marijuana plants found growing in the Shoals - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

$1M in marijuana plants found growing in the Shoals

About 500 marijuana plants were found growing in Lauderdale County. About 500 marijuana plants were found growing in Lauderdale County.
About 500 marijuana plants were found growing in Lauderdale County. About 500 marijuana plants were found growing in Lauderdale County.
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The state drug task force agents found a sizable marijuana grow in a wooded area of Lauderdale County.

Agents in helicopters spotted nearly 500 mature marijuana plants. Teams on the ground used all terrain vehicles to get to them.

Investigator James Bullock said with the hundreds of marijuana plants seized, it helps them keep a step ahead to get the drugs out of the hands of those in the Shoals.

Bullock said it was amazing they could pick out a little plant in a dense thick wooded area from being so high up in the air. He learned what to look for and how to spot a growing operation.

"From the air, you realize yeah, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It's a different shade of green," he said.

It was a joint effort with the state ERAD drug task force and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, which only took about eight hours. It's something they do on a regular basis.

The first batch was found off County Road 130 in Greenhill. Then the majority came from an area near County Road 61 in Zip City near the state line.

The estimated value of it all was about $1 million.

"This may seem like a miniscule amount to some people, but to us it's a pretty good amount that is never going to hit the streets, so we may have prevented X amount of crimes from happening," said Bullock.

Bullock said this marijuana eradication operation will help the county in more ways than one.

"Every time we interview someone who is highly addicted to heavy narcotics, they say, 'I started with marijuana,' you know, so to us it's considered a gateway drug and all of the other crimes usually stem from narcotics as well," he said.

The county's drug task force is investigating who is responsible for growing the marijuana plants.

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