Searching For Pot

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Working around the weather, Washington County's "E-Rad" eradication of marijuana program makes an impact.

From a hundred to thousands of feet in the air, BCI helicopter pilots trained to spot marijuana plants anywhere from on a porch, to hidden in a field.

"They fly and locate the plants from the helicopter then they direct all the ground units into where the plants are," says Washington County Sheriff's Office's Sgt. Detective Josh Staats.

Flown during different times the Washington County "E-Rad" program takes flight.

"We found everything from last year wasn't very productive year, before there was several hundred plants located."

With the help of the BCI helicopter pilots, the ground crew grabs the pot then investigates who owns it.

"Just to combat the drug problem within Washington County and Southeast Ohio with all the marijuana that's grown outdoors," says Staats.

"Got a total of 13 plants here, the home owners here," authorities hear the BCI helicopter pilot say over the radio.

But even if the person who owns the property didn't grow the plants he or she could still be charged just based on the pot being there.

That's why law enforcement recommends making sure you know what's growing in your fields.

"Cultivations charges in the state of Ohio all depends on the weight of the plants you could have one plant that weighs more than ten plants for example. So its all on how many grams the plants weigh for it's degree of misdemeanor or felony," says Staats.

Typically more plants are found in rural areas concealed by farm crops or the woods.

This all is a joint effort between the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Marietta Police Department, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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