With hunting season in full swing, the Virginia State Police is asking for the public's assistance with reporting suspicious activity relating to drug activity and marijuana grow sites. This summer more than 35,000 marijuana plants were eradicated throughout Virginia with the assistance of federal, state and local law enforcement officials as part of the Governor's Initiative Against Narcotics Trafficking (G.I.A.N.T) program.
"The discovery and destruction of these illegal grows have played a significant role in preventing marijuana from reaching the streets and Virginia's youth," said Lt. Richard A. Childers, Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Richmond Drug Enforcement Section. "In addition to the more than 180 arrests resulting from the 2010 GIANT initiative, millions of dollars have also been kept out of the hands of drug dealers."
Because the cultivation of marijuana is a year-round process, law enforcement needs Virginians - especially hunters - to be on alert to what may indicate an area being used to illegally grow marijuana.
- an obscured/hidden clearing in the woods, swamp or corn fields possibly near or with reasonable access to water;
- shovels, pails to haul water, bags of fertilizer and/or chemicals discarded near the clearing;
- random, well-trampled trails leading into the woods or swamp.
Hunters are advised not to confront anyone they may encounter near a clearing or possible grow site. Instead, please take mental notes of what you see, smell and hear at that location, and then report it to law enforcement.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Drug Diversion Unit at 1-800-553-DOPE (3673). You can also contact your local law enforcement to report illegal activity. Information you provide can result in a cash reward and all information is confidential.