Drought Helps MSP Find Marijuana

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Only the pilot and I were aboard the small Michigan State Police helicopter, which does a search over all of Jackson County three to four times a year.

We found nothing outside of the homes in the City of Jackson Monday morning, and headed toward the rural areas.

Just south of Cement City, we found marijuana hidden in a forest; a bright light green against the darker grass and trees. No more than a minute after spotting it, the other Jackson Narcotic Enforcement Team officers were on scene.

It was their biggest catch of the day; eight stalks of marijuana worth about $11,000 on the street. If it weren't for the drought, it may have been tougher to find in a nearby cornfield, but now growers have a shortage of hiding places.

Lieutenant Dave Cook is noticing fewer people having outdoor grow operations in at least this county, since medical marijuana became legal; even though it's cheaper than indoor growing.

"We're finding a lot of medical marijuana grows, but...we found this today, and we're still not done. We'll find more."

Collecting it all as they find it: "If we can get a suspect on it, we'll charge him. If not, this is gonna get burned."

Destroying at least one drug dealer's livelihood.

The totals for the day: 40 plants burned (worth $40,000) and one suspect due to be arrested in the next few days.

Other counties in the area will have their searches before the fall.

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