Evidence processing continues from huge marijuana discovery

Evidence processing continues from huge marijuana discovery
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Authorities continue to process evidence from a multi-million dollar marijuana operation discovered in Obion County last month. While no arrests have been made, multiple law enforcement agencies are working together on the case.
The investigation is being handled by the drug investigation division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Obion County Sheriff’s Department and the 27th Judicial District Drug Task Force.
It’s now been more than a month since local authorities discovered the 10-acre marijuana growing operation in a thickly wooded area just west of Hornbeak.
It took authorities several days to locate and bring out the estimated 362,000 marijuana plants and load them into dump trucks. Due to the jungle-like conditions, law enforcement officials had to use four-wheelers and a bulldozer to gain access to the marijuana farm.
The marijuana plants, most of which were mature plants measuring more than five-foot high, were randomly scattered throughout the wooded area and were being expertly cultivated. Authorities discovered bags of fertilizer at the site and an elaborate watering system. There were also primitive living quarters set up at the site, including bamboo beds, a kitchen area and showers.
High above the living quarters there was a compound set up to dry out the harvested marijuana plants.
Those who were involved in the marijuana farm went to great lengths to camouflage the operation. The living quarters and the growing operation relied heavily on the existing vegetation as well as manmade measures used to keep the operation hidden from view.
The estimated 362,000 plants brought out from the marijuana growing operation had an estimated street valued of $434 million, according to authorities.
All the marijuana plants were incinerated last month in an open field next to the Obion County Law Enforcement Complex.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messener 11.15.11

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