Over 3,500 marijuana plants were found in Fairfield County last week during a multi-agency drug operation.
Last week officers were able to locate and destroy a marijuana field near the area of I-77 and Highway 200 in Fairfield County that contained over 3,500 marijuana plants.
Evidence suggested that individuals cultivating these plants were living at least part-time in the field.
Brad Douglas with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department said they have found other marijuana crops in close proximity to that area in the past.
“Generally, these areas are hard to find,” he said. “We often have hunters stumble upon information that leads us to marijuana fields during the spring and during turkey season.”
Douglas said this case was unique because of the maturity of the plants, some of which were between eight and 12 feet tall.
“Generally, when we find fields in the spring, people are growing and being selective and weeding out the plants,” he said.
He noted they have found as many as 12, 000 plants growing in fields before. The plants take around 90 days to reach maturity.
Though this eradication operation involved just 3,500 plants, Douglas said the results were significant due to the maturity of the plants.
Samples were taken as evidence and the rest of the plants in the field were destroyed per department procedures.
No arrests have been made at this time, but the sheriff’s department reportedly has some investigative leads that officers are following.
Agencies involved in the operation included the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Chester County Sheriff’s Office, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, York County Drug Enforcement Unit, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Forestry Commission, South Carolina National Guard and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Midlands High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Group.
This was the fourth year of the operation which is in place to target, located and eradicate large scale marijuana growing operations.
The operation involved 10-15 officers just from Fairfield County and a total of 50-60 officers were used.