Tip leads to pot plants

Published 9:38 am Thursday, June 17, 2010

BUENA VISTA – If you’re looking for your missing marijuana plants, you can give John Holley a telephone call.

Someone who was growing nearly 2,000 marijuana plants approximately four miles from here will no longer find them where they were.

They are now in the possession of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office.

Early Tuesday morning, Det. Sgt. Kenny Gilliam and Det. Blake Mizelle led the removal of the plants in a field nearly two miles off of Early Station Road.

“We received a telephone call Monday alerting us that there were marijuana plants growing in a field,” Det. Sgt. Gilliam said. “Det. Mizelle and I made a trip to the reported location and discovered the plants. We returned Tuesday morning along with other officers to remove them.”

School Resource Officer Bonnie Brantley and Deputy Dennis Little aided in the two-hour operation to remove the plants.

The plants were only about two months old and needed three additional months to become mature, according to Det. Sgt. Gilliam.

“It’s unusual to catch them that early,” he said. “We’re glad to have gotten to them before they could have gotten out on the street.”

Det. Sgt. Gilliam said he didn’t believe growing marijuana was a huge problem in the county.

“I think the growth here is pretty low,” he said. “Most drug dealers would rather buy it. It’s easier to do that than grow it.”

The street value of the plants, should they have reached maturity, would have been approximately $16,000.

“The officers did an excellent job,” Sheriff Holley said. “We received a call and acted quickly on the tip and that led to getting these drugs before they ever reached our communities.

“I said we would target drugs when I was sworn in and I continue to stand by that,” he added. “We’re working diligently to remove narcotics from our streets.”

The drug seizure was caused by the latest in a growing number of tips from citizens in Bertie County. Sheriff Holley and Det. Sgt. Gilliam said they appreciated the help.

“I think people see we have more activity when it comes to drug enforcement and that makes them want to be involved,” Det. Sgt. Gilliam said. “We’re trying to do more work and it seems the citizens are getting on board. The more work we do, the more calls we receive.”

Sheriff Holley agreed.

“I think it’s a combination of things,” Holley said. “People see we are more active and that has spurred them to be more active in calling. Also, I think having our deputies getting out into the communities and interacting with the community has helped.”

Anyone with information about the ownership of the seized marijuana plants or any other drug activity should call the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office at 794-5330.