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ISP raid hidden marijuana grow operations

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. - Indiana State Police are cracking down hard on illegal marijuana grow operations. On Wednesday, CBS4 was there as drug enforcement troopers went cornfield by cornfield in Madison County, rooting out the hidden plants and chopping them down.

“Another month, month and a half and it would be falling over heavy,” said an undercover officer.

The marijuana plants in question didn’t spring up on their own, and State police say someone’s been watching them.

“They’ve got them tied up and they’ve been in here taking care of them,” said the officer.

The effort to curb the growths is an ongoing fight that state drug enforcement teams take on every summer in counties all across the state.

“The three separate plots that are going to be destroyed today began with aerial surveillance,” said ISP Sergeant John Perrine.

Once identified, the co-opted crops come down fast, no match for a machete’s blade.

Up against the backdrop of growing legalization and acceptance of pot, some might say this isn’t worth the time and energy of State police. They however, disagree.

“There are still laws in Indiana that make it illegal to possess and cultivate marijuana, and we are bound to enforce those laws,” said Perrine.

Police say in most cases this is not someone growing it for their person use, in fact in one plot alone, they’re looking at a street value of about $5,000. Once it’s cut down, it’ll be taken back to ISP headquarters and destroyed.

Last year, state authorities collected more than 37,000 plants yielding more than 6,000 pounds of marijuana. That’s an almost $4 million street value.

“This is still an illegal activity in Indiana, and we’re going to continue to enforce these laws,” said Perrine.

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