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LAWRENCE COUNTY Search nets pot plants



Published: Fri, September 7, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



No arrests have been made, but authorities are still investigating.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Authorities say 243 marijuana plants with a street value of $500,000 were confiscated this week by the Lawrence County District Attorney's Drug Task Force.

The plants were found in Shenango and North Beaver townships by the Pennsylvania National Guard through an aerial search, said Matthew Mangino, Lawrence County district attorney.

Members of the National Guard and the drug task force took the marijuana plants Tuesday.

The district attorney said no arrests have been made, but they are still talking to people who own the property where the marijuana was found.

This is the second marijuana search done by the National Guard and the task force. Mangino said the task force seized 50 marijuana plants in the northern end of the county in August.

Finds: He said this week the group found 187 marijuana plants growing off Pa. Routes 168 and 65 and Hoover and State roads in Shenango Township. In addition, officers found two bags containing a total of nine plants off Route 65. They also found 47 marijuana plants off two spots along Edwards Road in North Beaver Township.

Mangino said some of the plants were as tall as 14 feet, indicating that they had been growing for some time.

The district attorney's drug task force will incinerate the marijuana, he said.

Mangino said there will be more searches for marijuana growing in the county.

"It sends a message that we are looking. If we find it, we are going to get rid of it. If we find you, we are going to prosecute," he said.




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