Uncovering illegal drug operations
It was just about a week ago when a drug bust in Chemung County saw law enforcement seize more than 300 marijuana plants from an illegal growing operation. There was also a recent bust in Steuben County. Our Bill Mich has more on the arrests and how law enforcement uncovers this illegal activity.
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SOUTHERN TIER -- For those illegally growing marijuana, this is the time of year they look to cash in on their crop, discreetly.
"It's typically harvest time. They wait for that second frost, we've had one hard one the other night. So there tends to be more activity out in the woods, you know, at 2-3 o' clock in the morning," said Steuben County Sheriff, Joel Ordway.
"People do get more creative. They know the methods that are used. A lot of times people try to go on state land so they're not technically trespassing, and they know it's not always monitored," said Chemung County Undersheriff, William Schrom.
And while people try and hide their growing operations, police agencies are constantly trying to uncover them.
"Roughly July to present we've covered 17 different towns out of our 32 towns. So more than half of our towns have been affected, or saw our presence in there eradicating plants," said Ordway.
But, the job of discovering these marijuana plants is no easy task. Agencies like the Chemung and Steuben County Sheriff's offices have very limited access to State Police helicopters that can survey rural areas for the drugs. Police say their biggest tool in fighting this drug problem is relying on the public to report any suspicious activity they may see.
"You just can emphasize enough, when in doubt call. It's really the biggest message you want to get out there. If something doesn't look right, always call and have it checked out," said Schrom.
Police are hoping with the continued help from the community, they will be able to weed out the ongoing drug problem.