MI: Cops use helicopters to find grow sites

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by WNB, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. WNB WNB

    • Seasoned Activist
    • Since: Feb 9, 2003
    • Posts: 6,318
    Skies scanned for pot
    Dowagiac Daily News | 8/30/2005

    ST. JOSEPH - During the week of Aug. 22-26 the Berrien County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit and Road Patrol, working with a helicopter from the Michigan State Police Aviation Unit, participated in Operation HEMP in Berrien County.

    Operation HEMP (Help Eliminate Marijuana Planting) is a statewide multi-agency effort to locate and eliminate marijuana cultivation, according to Lt. Keith Hafer.

    The countywide search made by MSP pilot Lt. John Kenny and a Berrien County Sheriffs narcotics officer targets areas based on citizen tips, past seizures and likely cultivation sites.

    Officers in the helicopter then direct officers on the ground to the grow sites.

    In one case the marijuana grow site was on an island in the Galien River and officers had to borrow a rowboat and canoe from a local resident to get to the island to seize the marijuana plants.

    In another case 18 marijuana plants were spotted growing inside a chicken coop.

    In another case as the helicopter spotted marijuana growing near a house the resident ran into the adjacent woods and attempted to hide the plants (which were growing in pots).

    This year the Narcotics Unit seized 405 marijuana plants from 12 grow sites in the following areas:

    • Bainbridge Township (2)

    • Bertrand Township

    • Buchanan Township

    • Coloma Township

    • Galien Township

    • Hagar Township (2)

    • Niles Township

    • Sodus Township (2)

    • Weesaw Township

    Investigations of five of the marijuana growing operations resulted in warrants being requested for six persons. The investigation is continuing and a seventh person may also be charged.

    A 43-year-old Buchanan Township man will be charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana (finished product).

    A 43-year-old Hagar Township man will be charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana.

    A 75-year-old Hagar Township man will be charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana.

    A 53-year-old Bertrand Township man will be charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana.

    A 35-year-old (both) Coloma Township man and woman will be charged with manufacturing marijuana.

    During these investigations officers also seized a Yamaha ATV used to tend a grow site and two firearms seized at grow sites under civil forfeiture.
  2. Tokamak Tokamak

    • New Member
    • Since: Aug 12, 2005
    • Posts: 398
    Hmmm... Forty-three, fifty-three, and SEVENTY-FIVE!? I shed a silent tear each time a plant gets seized, but I was under the impression that most growing was done by the 40-and-under crowd. Lets give a round of applause to our senior citizen growers!

    Best of luck in court.

    Peace.
  3. king cola king cola

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Mar 7, 2004
    • Posts: 4,301
    "A 75-year-old Hagar Township man will be charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana."

    At 75 years old what the hell does this guy care? lol, it's not like he would serve time for this :rolleyes:

    A 43-year-old Buchanan Township man will be charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana (finished product).

    Lets also give a round of applause to this guy, he managed to harvest some of his pot before getting busted :chokin:
  4. ReeferOne ReeferOne

    • New Member
    • Since: Aug 24, 2005
    • Posts: 362
    I don't know about other parts of the country but here in the south they put thermal cameras on heli's and scan neighborhoods for houses with higher than average temperature and "hot spots".

    This was all told to me by a dea agent, it was some funny **** cause it was at like career day and here you see me this high ass mother****er having a 30 minute coversation with this dea agent about how to NOT get caught!

    :rofl2: :rofl2: :bong2:
  5. S2 S2

    • Just another bonehead
    • Since: Dec 30, 2000
    • Posts: 2,188
    They may scan homes with thermal imaging but they dont bust people with the info they get that way and if it ever came out that they conductred addtional investigation based on what the thermal imaging showed- the case would get tossed out of court.

    In reality, I dont belive they do the flights-- its hard for me to belive that the department would give them flight time for illegal searches-- it costs plenty to fly those things
  6. king cola king cola

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Mar 7, 2004
    • Posts: 4,301
    it costs plenty to fly those things

    I read in my paper one year about the state police helicopters. They use it for emergency purposes, but i think it's been used a few times to check for outdoor grows, but they said it costs over $100,000 to run it. One year they couldn't even use it to check for marijuana because they had no funding. With the price of gas going up, it wouldn't even seem worth flying them around to check for plants without having a reason to search that area.
  7. Mamabudz Mamabudz

    • Guest
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    They back it up with Electric bills, and then do a scan of the garbage for "evidence" -- but yeah on the large grow-ops (entire houses turned over to growing) they use the thermal to get a scan as part of the "crack down".

    Of course now that Pornography is Crime #1 to the new AG, they will be using lenses to peak through adolescent boy's bedroom windows at nite to see who's got flashlights under the covers with the National Geographics :eek:
  8. S2 S2

    • Just another bonehead
    • Since: Dec 30, 2000
    • Posts: 2,188
    Mama, my point was that scanning with IR requires a warrant in the US--- just cruising and scanning for likley grows without a warrant is an illegal search.

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