Drug hunt strikes gold in Claiborne County

By: Kate Burgess Email
By: Kate Burgess Email

CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)--Deputies found 300 pot plants in the Leatherwood area of the Midway community. That's about $300,000 worth of marijuana. It was part of a joint effort by the Claiborne and Knox County Sheriff's Departments to rid the area of illegal drugs.

Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray said the operation was a huge success. "We've gotten a lot of marijuana off the streets here in Claiborne County," he said. Ray says marijuana, along with prescription pills and meth, is a growing problem in his area.

"Marijuana is an illegal drug and is grown by several people in our county and we're trying to get rid of it."

Wednesday his deputies, with the help of the Knox County Sheriff's Department, scoured the county by helicopter for pot growing operations.

"We have people who are cooperatives who will give us information. We have people who from year to year, grow this marijuana usually in the same general areas," he said.

Sheriff Ray added the operation wouldn't have been possible without Knox County's help.

"Sheriff Jones and his crew here with the helicopter assisting me up here in this rural county is a good example of law enforcement cooperating with one another. We win when that happens."

And Wednesday they won big. After spotting them from the air, deputies cut down hundreds of pot plants.

"If we get one plant off the street, we've been successful. Today we got 300 plants or more," Ray said.

All of this marijuana is going to be burned and the Sheriff's Department is still investigating exactly who is responsible for growing it.

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