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Deputies burn marijuana plants

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

Atkinson County, GA (WALB) - 420 pounds of pot went up in smoke Wednesday in Atkinson County.
Deputies confiscated 130 marijuana plants a couple of weeks ago after a landowner discovered them growing on his property.

Authorities destroyed the plants which would have been worth about $400,000 if they'd been packaged and sold.

Atkinson County Sheriff David Moore sets ablaze what looks like dead shrubbery. Actually, it's 420 pounds of marijuana.

 "The quality of the marijuana was poor, still young, buds were still small full of seeds. It was not an expert operation by far," said Moore.

The Sheriff's office took a small amount of pot needed for the investigation and took photos. They received permission from the Superior Court of Atkinson County to burn the rest.

 "Friday the 18th we got a call out old Cogdell Highway and Old Fire tower road that a landowner had found marijuana with his bulldozer clearing up his land line," said Moore.

Authorities confiscated the plants and stakes holding up some of them. The plants were stored in a shed at the Atkinson County Road Department.

Most of the plants stood 8 feet tall and others stood as much as 12 feet in height.

A chicken house used to sit in this location several years ago. This provided good growing conditions say authorities.

"There's plenty of fertilizer for one thing. The grounds soft and it makes it easy to plant and where it was located was kind of isolated," said Atkinson Co. Sheriff's investigator Ferrell Howell.

Howell says he's never seen marijuana plants that tall.

"If it was all packaged up and sold it would probably be between $300,000 and $400,000 street value," said Chief Deputy Eugene Paulk.

Authorities are following leads but do not have any serious suspects.  Investigators say the landowner didn't have anything to do with the operation.

The Sheriff says the plants were left to grow on their own and were not tended to daily.

 

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