08/08/06 — Marijuana field found near highway

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Marijuana field found near highway

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 8, 2006 1:50 PM

Wayne County law enforcement officers discovered and seized more than 313 marijuana plants Monday at two sites near Piney Grove Church Road off of U.S. 70 East.

With the help of one of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office helicopters, the Goldsboro-Wayne County Drug Squad and the Wayne Sheriff's ACE Team found the plants, which would have had a street value of more than $750,000 if allowed to mature.

Officers spotted the first 13 plants near the Lenoir County line while on a routine flight, Lt. Tom Effler of the Sheriff's Office said.

On the way back, they hit the jackpot.

"We spotted the 300 coming back from the 13," Effler said.

The larger planting was behind Adamsville Church of God in the woods next to a corn field adjacent to the county's industrial park.

Effler said that investigators fly as much as possible this time of year, knowing that plants will be soon be reaching maturity.

Most of the plants found Monday were 8-10 feet tall, Effler said, and showed signs of a green thumb, or thumbs.

"They had been in there most of the year. They were well taken care of, big, beautiful plants," he said.

Last week, eight marijuana plants were found off of U.S. 70 East about three miles from the Lenoir County line. They had an estimated value at maturity of $19,000..

In June, local law enforcement officers found more than 15,000 plants in five different fields near Black Jack Church and Ferry Bridge roads -- the largest marijuana seizure in the county's history.