State task force using air surveillance to crack down on drugs - WSMV Channel 4

State task force using air surveillance to crack down on marijuana

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From meth to prescription pills, and even a resurgence in heroin, drugs continue to be a target for law enforcement.

"We're number two in meth labs. We're number two in prescription drug abuse and we're number three in the illicit growing of marijuana. Tennessee has got to have a force," said Tommy Farmer.

That force is the Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication, and its crew is using air surveillance and ground crews to seek and destroy.

"We're also looking to make an investigation. Are there perpetrators or is there just somebody we can pin this to? We're not just going in to eradicate the marijuana," Farmer said.

It's not an easy job, one that you have to be prepared for just about anything.

"We have to be prepared for: Is it a guarded patch? Are there individuals in there right now? Are there people responding to the patch that may bring harm to us? They don't want us in there doing this! Next, the booby traps and then you got the natural threats. You got snakes, spiders, chiggers," Farmer said.

Crews say there were more than 300 plants in just one patch they found. They will be sent to the incinerator on Thursday, which is possibly over a quarter of a million dollars in street value up in smoke.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the crew brought in more than 3,700 plants. They said they found another giant operation but haven't counted the plants from that one yet.

No arrests have been made in connection to the busts at this time.

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