Rowan County sheriff's deputies seized and destroyed 85 marijuana plants near Pond Lick Road after receiving an anonymous tip.
The plants carry a street value of about $170,000.
Deputies Mark Cline and Baker Hollis, along with Chief Deputy Joe Cline investigated the tip. The search led them into the Daniel Boone National Forest.
“Mark took the initial information and we developed an operation and plan that was executed about a day and a half later,” said Joe Cline.
Criminal charges are pending.
“Since the plants were on government property we are ensuring that proper protocol is followed and the guilty parties are found,” said Cline.
The department used vehicles obtained through the U.S. Department of Defense to navigate the terrain where the plants were found.
Three Humvees are owned by the sheriff's department. One will be used in situations regarding drug recovery, one will be used as a crime scene response vehicle and all will be used for disaster response.
Cline said while marijuana has been decriminalized and made legal in many states, it is still against federal law to grow and use.
“We encourage anyone who suspects drug use, manufacturing or trafficking of any kind to report it to us. That can be done anonymously and safely,” said Cline.
To report illegal activities, call the sheriff’s tip line at 784-3880 or visit the department’s website at rowancountysheriff.net.
SHAYLA MENVILLE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.