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Pot eradication blitz mounted in three WV counties

Photo contributed to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph  West Virginia State Police troopers prepare to cut down a field of marijuana plants found this week in the Maybeury area of McDowell County. Shown here, left to right, are Trooper J.A. Tupper, Trooper J.C. Woods, Trooper E.W. Boothe, Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie and Sgt. R.A. Daniel. Shown top right is a portion of the marijuana plants found in McDowell County during this week’s eradication
Photo contributed to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph
West Virginia State Police troopers prepare to cut down a field of marijuana plants found this week in the Maybeury area of McDowell County. Shown here, left to right, are Trooper J.A. Tupper, Trooper J.C. Woods, Trooper E.W. Boothe, Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie and Sgt. R.A. Daniel. Shown top right is a portion of the marijuana plants found in McDowell County during this week’s eradication

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A marijuana eradication effort in southern West Virginia has resulted in the confiscation of millions of dollars worth of illegal plants in three counties, West Virginia State Police officials said Thursday.

The eradication efforts began Monday and wrapped up Wednesday evening.

“We got several thousand plants in Mercer, Monroe and McDowell,” Sgt. A.P. Christian, with the Princeton detachment, said. “In those three areas, we got millions of dollars worth of marijuana plants.”

 In McDowell County, this week’s eradication effort netted marijuana plants with a street value of $1,890,000, Sgt. C.F. Kane, commander of the Welch detachment, said.

Kane said this is the second marijuana eradication project in McDowell this year. The first one, held in July, brought in $2,634,000 in illegal plants.

“The Bradshaw and Panther areas are the hot zones in McDowell,” Kane said.

Kane said many of the illegal grows in McDowell County are found on large acreages of land owned by coal companies.

 Christian said that the “season for dope growing” is late summer. He explained that after male plants pollinate the female plants, growers “weed out” the male ones.

“Male plants don’t produce big buds like female plants,” Christian said. “They leave female plants in, because they are the ones they want. It’s all part of Gardening 101.”

Once plants are confiscated they are destroyed, Christian said. “We throw diesel, kerosene or some other accelerate on them and burn them.”

 Kane said those participating in the eradication project included troopers with the Mercer, McDowell and Monroe county State Police detachments, the National Guard and the Department of Natural Resources, with assistance from the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information on illegal marijuana operations can contact the State Police Princeton detachment at 304-425-2101, the Welch detachment at 304-436-2101 or the Monroe County detachment at 304-772-5818. Kane said all tips will remain anonymous.

“We appreciate the public’s help in stopping the illegal use of our lands,” Kane said.

— Contact Samantha Perry at [email protected].

To see more from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, click here. 

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