Sheriff’s Office raids marijuana grow early Friday

Image by Brett Barrett with photos by Dallas Hyland, St. George News
Members of the media being led to the marijuana farm by law enforcement, Washington County, Aug 24, 2012 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY – The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and additional law enforcement agencies raided a marijuana grow early Friday morning.

The Washington County Metro SWAT team and agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Forest Service, Utah Highway Patrol and Washington County Area Drug and Task Force raided a marijuana farm in the Browse area, located four miles west of Interstate 15 near milepost 30 Friday.

Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said his agency and others had been searching for the farm for three years, but had little success until now, when the grow was discovered by a helicopter flyover.  DEA agents said the marijuana grower became greedy and planted an extra plot that lacked significant aerial cover, thus allowing the helicopter to spot it.

The discovery and subsequent raid resulted in the removal of approximately 3,600 marijuana plants.  About 60 individuals assisted in the eradication, as well at the clean up and removal of the trash let at the site.

Members of the media were allowed to accompany law enforcement on the raid. Escorted by the SWAT team, it took the group five hours to hike into the area where the farm was located in the little-accessed area of the Browse where hunters and the public rarely venture.

Once cluster of marijuana plants among the 3,600 found in the raid by law enforcement, Washington County, Aug. 24, 2012 | Photo by Cory Pulsipher, Washington County Sheriff’s Department.
Traces left behind by the individuals who tended the marijuana farm, Washington County, Aug. 24, 2012 | Photo by Cory Pulsipher, Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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  • Murat August 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    “The grow will ultimately be destroyed by the authorities.” I’m sure they’ll get around to a nice press event with a burning pile of some of the pot, after they’ve sold the rest and pocketed a little cash.

    • Dghws August 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Are you serious? Is this something you are familiar with or have any evidence that what you propose is standard operating procedure for this type of discovery? Or, are you again just spouting off based on what you would do if you were in charge? Maybe if you started hiking around a bit more you could find your own marijuana grow and could take it over from the growers and do with it as you see fit.

      • Malcolm Kyle August 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        Yes, of course he’s serious! have you been living in a cave?

        Stephen Anderson, a former New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics detective, recently testified that he regularly saw police plant drugs on innocent people as a way for officers to meet arrest quotas. This practice has cost New York city $1.2 million to settle cases of false arrests. In Anderson’s own words: “The corruption I observed … was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” — Anderson was busted back in 2008 for planting cocaine on four men in a Queens bar.

        “This has been going on for forty years. These corruptions are emerging all over the country. It’s not systemic to a police department, per se, but it is systemic to the War on Drugs in the context that the federal government is basically corrupting local government with their funds and the helter-skelter way of putting these task forces together and diverting local police from their basic public safety duties to the priorities of the federal government in terms of the War on Drugs.” — Former Deputy Chief Stephen Downing, a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department.

        According to Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary to the treasury under Ronald Reagan, “Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public.”

  • Peg August 25, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Kudos to our law enforcement for a job well done!!!!!

    • Phil DeBowl August 25, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Are you freakin kidding me,job well done? These grows exist because of law enforcements ban on MerryWanna. Shutting down this one operation will have zero effect on ending the demand for MJ,if anything it will make the remaining MJ on the market more valuable,thus encouraging more illegal grows. YOU may not care if your tax dollars are pissed away but most thinking people see the “war on drugs©” as a collosal failure and un-American.

    • Malcolm Kyle August 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, or those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we all finally (just like our forefathers) see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

      During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

  • Common Sense Police August 25, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Stop wasting time and money on a harmless plant. Prohibition puts us all in danger every day. The only reason marijuana is worth anything is because of prohibition. What a stupid waste. Prohibition is nothing more than welfare for law enforcement and ensures there will be cartels growing it in our forests and gangs selling it on our streets.

  • Sam August 25, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I would like to know how much money they spent on this 3 year investigation to destroy plants?

  • Tyler August 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Drug?! This aint no drug!! This country is so corrupt, greedy and power-tripping that we legalize alcohol, blamed for countless deaths both behind the wheel and not. But a plant used for the most part, to calm the nerves and senses, promoting peace and not directly linked to deaths of any kind, illegal and label it a drug! Welcome to America, the land of the delusional free.

  • Big @$$ Bob August 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    We’re (United States) actually one of THE MOST controlled countries in the world today. Freedom is a dellusion and comes at a cost. Watch your back. Trust no one. Watch what you say, for freedom of speech has passed away. Now excuse me while I go take a rip off my bong and relax in the comfort of my own home.

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