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Drug operation evidence still being analyzed

Drug operation evidence still being analyzed
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Evidence collected from the site of a multi-million dollar marijuana operation discovered west of Hornbeak last month continues to be analyzed by several law enforcement agencies, according to a spokesman with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department.
Chief Deputy Kent Treece told The Messenger Wednesday there are actually several agencies involved in analyzing evidence from the 10-acre marijuana farm.
“Federal authorities are assisting in the investigation and are involved in processing some of the evidence from the scene,” he said.
Authorities confiscated a pair of generators from the scene, as well as other items from the primitive living quarters set up at the marijuana growing site.
The drug investigation division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is the lead agency involved in analyzing the evidence, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Those two agencies are working with other agencies, including the local sheriff’s department and the 27th Judicial District Drug Task Force.
The marijuana growing operation was originally discovered by the local sheriff’s department on Oct. 10 and, due to the overwhelming size of the operation, several state and federal law enforcement agencies were brought in to assist with the investigation.
The evidence analysis phase of the investigation is key to identifying all those involved in the operation, leading ultimately to their arrest and conviction, according to Treece.
Authorities brought out an estimated 362,000 mature marijuana plants from the jungle-like terrain where the marijuana was being grown, cultivated and dried. The confiscated marijuana has been valued at $434 million.
“The investigation is still very, very active,” Treece told The Messenger.
He explained investigators are putting the pieces to the puzzle together and are working on a daily basis analyzing the evidence from the scene.
As to when any arrests will be made, Treece declined to comment on that phase of the investigation.
Published in The Messenger 11.3.11

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