Updated Tue, Aug 27, 2013 10:26 am
According to Pike County Sheriff Richard Henderson, on Friday, sheriff's deputies along with the assistance of BCI&I (Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation) and other agencies seized more than 350 marijuana plants during Pike County's annual drug eradication.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the plants were seized at random, rural areas in the county. In addition to deputies on the ground, the search included helicopter surveillance as well as the use of watercraft. The plants were eradicated after seizure.
Criminal charges are pending, and, as arrests are made, they will become public, according to the Sheriff's Office. Henderson expressed his thanks to BCI&I, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Watercraft, and the Lucasville Prison SRT Team for assisting with the drug eradication.
During last year's eradication in Pike County, 1,609 plants were seized, many of which were growing in a major site off Hickson Road. At the time, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine reported that the grow site had suspected ties to a Mexican drug cartel.
In 2010, a similar effort yielded 22,000 marijuana plants near Latham. According to the Sheriff's Office, so far during this year's eradication, no big plots of marijuana have been found in the county.
At the 2012 eradication, Scott Duff, one of the BCI&I agents who was on hand for the search, said that aerial searches for marijuana, which are funded annually by the Drug Enforcement Administration, have been conducted for nearly 30 years. He said that southeastern and southwestern Ohio tend to grow more marijuana than other areas of the state, explaining that the growing season is longer in southern Ohio and the terrain and climate are better for growing the plant.