Last updated: July 24. 2013 1:43PM - 160 Views

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PDT Staff Writer

PIKE COUNTY — As a part of a two-day drug eradication effort, law enforcement officials in Pike County discovered a large marijuana grow site believed connected to a Mexican drug cartel.

According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Pike County Sheriff’s Office were ending day-one of a two-day drug eradication effort Wednesday afternoon, when investigators in a helicopter noticed the grow on a hillside on Hickson Road. Authorities returned to the site Thursday and raided it.

Mike DeWine said in a released statement said authorities found more than 1,200 marijuana plants growing on the site. They believe the marijuana produced by each plant could have been worth $1,000 to $1,500 on the street. DeWine said authorities removed the plants and burnt them.

“We’re doing everything we can in Pike County to fight the war on drugs the best we can,” said Richard Henderson, Pike County Sheriff said. “There is no way we can do this by ourselves, so we are very grateful to everyone who came together to help us get these drugs out of our community.”

Upon investigation of the site authorities found evidence of two abandoned camp sites, believed to be used by Mexican nationals; both sites were abandoned. At the camp site, investigators also discovered evidence that may lead to identifying those responsible.

Agencies involved in helping in the case included the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the Circleville Police Department, the Portsmouth Police Department, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Southern Ohio Corrections Facility Special Response Team, the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force, the Pike County Hazmat Team, and the American Red Cross.

According to officials with the Pike County Sheriff’s Office. the results of the two-day drug eradication effort will not be available until the first of next week. The Associated Press is reporting authorities seized a total of 1,609 marijuana plants over the two-day drug eradication effort.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.

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