Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Michigan State Police flyovers target illegal marijuana plants

The Michigan State Police conducted cannabis searches from the air Monday in Livingston County.

An official with the Brighton post confirmed that a helicopter conducted the searches in various areas, including the Deerfield, Handy and Cohoctah townships areas, where area residents also reported seeing a low-flying helicopter doing a figure-8 pattern.

Whether any marijuana was found or arrests were made was not immediately available Monday.

The search is funded through a federal program — Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) — administered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which provides funding to states in support of marijuana-eradication programs.

The DCE/SP began funding eradication programs in Hawaii and California in 1979 and it rapidly expanded to include programs in 25 states by 1982. By 1985, all 50 states were participating in the DCE/SP.

In 2012, the program was responsible for the eradication of nearly 49,000 cultivated plants from indoor and outdoor growing operations in Michigan, according to DEA statistics.

In addition, the DCE/SP’s Michigan program included 406 arrests and the seizure in excess of $1.02 million in cultivator assets. The program also removed 283 weapons from cannabis cultivators.

Original article:  http://www.freep.com

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