Officials find, burn 200 marijuana plants in Lehigh County
National Guard helicopter aids in annual search
Thanks to eyes in the skies, officials found and destroyed 200 marijuana plants growing in Lehigh County.
The Pennsylvania National Guard assisted the Lehigh County Drug Task Force and the Allentown Police to track down the plants, found growing in cornfields and woods throughout the county.
On August 19 and 20, detectives in a National Guard helicopter flew over the area to detect plants that are not easily spotted from the ground.
On August 21, based on coordinates found by the aerial searches, detectives were directed to locations of the marijuana plants.
They found the plants in seven different locations--Lynn, Weisenberg, Lower Macungie, South Whitehall, Heidelberg, Whitehall and North Whitehall townships.
Officials said the detectives used machetes to cut down the plants and then burned them.
Chief Task Force Detective Joseph Stauffer said the National Guard has assisted the task force in aerial searches for marijuana plants each year for more than a dozen years.
Stauffer said there was no significant increase in the number of plants found this year.
No one was charged in connection with the found plants because there was no evidence to indicate the property owners were aware that the marijuana plants were growing on their properties, Stauffer said.
A pound of marijuana can usually be harvested from one plant, and the average price of a pound is about $2,000, Stauffer said.
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