July 22, 2008

Around Our Area Harnett County Deputies Find $12 Million Marijuana Field

By Cassidy Culbertson, Sanford Herald, N.C.

Jul. 22--BROADWAY -- Harnett County deputies made their second major marijuana bust since June, spotting $ 12 million worth of plants in Broadway over the weekend.

The State Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Army National Guard and Harnett County Sheriff's Department removed 5,000 plants spanning 11 plots on Monday. The plants were found off Cool Springs Road within a few miles of June's marijuana bust, in which 35,000 marijuana plants were found, according to Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins.

The sheriff's office contracted a private company to survey the county after June's bust.

"This appears similar to what we found in June," Rollins said. "There were some differences. The 11 plots were scattered through a remote wooded area. We were suspicious after what we found last time and concerned there could be some more large operations going on.

"We've got so many remote and desolate areas in Harnett County's 600 square miles."

No arrests have been made in either marijuana bust, and there are no suspects, Rollins said.

"For the last several years, a number of huge operations have been found in California, Oregon, Nevada and other places out west, where people got Mexican nationals to come in and operate marijuana fields," Rollins added. "We're pretty certain this is the type of operation (the Cool Springs road plot) is. The campsites had Hispanic foods and clothing with Mexican symbols and emblems."

The sheriff's department has no leads to indicate suspects, and Rollins urges anybody with information about suspicious activity to contact the department.

"Fortunately this operation wasn't any bigger than it was. Hopefully the message is 'don't grow dope in this county, we will find it,'" Rollins said.


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