By Frank Lewis
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini and Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware say that during a two-day operation, the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force — with assistance from the Marijuana Eradication Unit of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, members of the Special Response Team from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, and officers from the State of Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation as well as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources — have eradicated approximately 900 Marijuana plants from various locations inside Scioto County.
Donini and Ware credited tips provided by the public that may have led to some of the locations of the plants seized and also all of the agencies that provided their assistance during the operation. They said anyone wishing to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force; to contact the Task Force tip line at 740-354-5656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.
Last week the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI&I) helicopter, and officers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources canvassed about a fourth of the county and found approximately 450 marijuana plants.
Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said the BCI&I helicopter flies in a grid pattern in areas suspected of being the location of marijuana plants, and direct officers on the ground where plants are spotted, allowing the officers to cut them down.
Lawless said no arrests were made at the time of the eradication but four separate suspects have been identified in cultivating their portion of the seized plants and could face charges at the conclusion of the investigation.
“Marijuana plants are reaching maturity and will soon be harvested by their growers,” Lawless said. “We plan to fly other parts of the county over the next couple of weeks.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.