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SALEM Agents discover marijuana plants



Published: Fri, August 31, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The task force director said the size of the plots indicate the marijuana was planted with the intent to sell.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

SALEM -- Agents from several law enforcement agencies fanned out across parts of Columbiana County and discovered more than 100 marijuana plants.

Thursday's sweep produced about 106 plants valued at between $150,000 and $160,000, said Brian McLaughlin, Columbiana County Drug Task Force director.

Searchers found the 3- to 5-foot tall plants sprinkled throughout briar patches, along stream beds and in corn fields, all on private land, McLaughlin said.

No arrests have been made yet as authorities try to determine who planted and tended the marijuana.

Large crop: The largest plot was a group of nearly 50 plants found among briars off Mountz Road in West Township.

Authorities relied on tips and helicopter surveillance to locate the plants. Most of the search was concentrated in West, Butler and Knox townships.

The marijuana was planted with the intent to sell it. The plots were too large to be intended for someone's personal use, McLaughlin said.

Besides the county drug task force, other agencies taking part in the sweep were the county sheriff's office, Columbiana Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigation, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Youngstown office.




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