10/12/06 — Marijuana growers are taking their crops indoors

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Marijuana growers are taking their crops indoors

By Lee Williams
Published in News on October 12, 2006 1:54 PM

The Goldsboro-Wayne County Drug Squad said a spike in the number of marijuana plants found in Wayne County could trigger an increase in the number of people who use creative ways to raise them.

The drug squad recently confiscated 50 to 75 marijuana plants from suspects who were growing the plants indoors.

While that is a relatively low number, Lt. Tom Effler, the drug squad's co-commander, said he expects the number to rise given the increase in outdoor marijuana plants found by the drug squad.

"That's probably going to pick up because the more we get outdoor grows, they are going to have to find somewhere to keep it," Effler said.

Tightened borders since the Sept. 11 attacks forced growers to raise marijuana fields in the U.S. The result has spelled trouble for local law enforcement officials.

A total of 15,284 marijuana plants were seized near Black Jack Church and Ferry Bridge roads in June and 6,200 plants were seized near Airport and Lancaster roads in August. The numbers show no signs of decrease.

"Throughout the country they have found high numbers of indoor grows and whatever starts out west usually ends up here," Effler said.

Growers use an intricate process to nurture the illegal plants, Effler said.

Growers black out the windows of the residence to avoid sunlight and to shield their operation from neighbors. They also bring in extra extension cords and fluorescent lights to raise the plants.

"Marijuana's got to have light," Effler said.

The growers also use water to raise the green, leafy plants.

Effler said there are a few tell-tale signs that someone might be growing marijuana plants indoors, but there's no exact science that can be used to determine if someone is growing the pungent plants without inspecting the residence.

"Most of the time you are going to have a lot of drop cords running to the house," Effler said. "Until they start bringing it out, you might not know that's going on. If they are just growing marijuana in the residence they might show up every now and then."