09/19/05 — Acres of marijuana found in Duplin

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Acres of marijuana found in Duplin

By Wire
Published in News on September 19, 2005 1:57 PM

WALLACE -- Authorities have discovered a 10- to 15-acre pot farm near Wallace, valued in the millions of dollars and considered the area's biggest marijuana raid in recent memory.

"I don't recall a bust this big in southeastern North Carolina in my time," said Sheriff Blake Wallace, who worked for the State Bureau of Investigation for 11 years before he became the Duplin County sheriff in 2002.

The marijuana recovered Sunday morning, which weighed in at 4,160 pounds, has a street value of about $9.9 million, Wallace said, adding that the numbers were likely to increase as deputies continue their recovery work today.

No arrests had been made as of late Sunday.

The raid was the result of an ongoing investigation and a tip from a citizen who called the sheriff office late Saturday evening.

Deputies went to the location about 2 a.m. Sunday and said they found themselves in fields of pot plants, some as tall as 13 feet. Deputies found three huts where someone had lived, probably those tending the pot fields, Wallace said.

"We found sleeping bags, cook tops, cell phone chargers and chemicals to keep insects and deer away from the plants," he said.

Ownership of the land was not known late Sunday.

"We are hoping to get higher up in the organization than just those who tended these plants," Wallace said. "Anytime you can get this amount of dope off the street it's a big day for us."

The Associated Press