Posted at: 09/04/2013 3:12 PM
| Updated at: 09/04/2013 3:58 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
SHARON - Deputies were standing by as an Army National Guard helicopter flew into the Sharon Airport Wednesday morning.
Their shared mission -- search from the air for marijuana.
"I would dare say that marijuana is the biggest thing in the county as far as illegal substances," said Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond.
The sheriff says they've been working with the National Guard on these search flights for several years. Sometimes they play a hunch, but often they have an idea where to look before they take off.
"We have tips that come in just about one a day," Desmond said. "People find it out in the fields. They hear people talk about it and they will call us and give us the information."
Often the marijuana is planted and cultivated on state land or property that has been abandoned.
That may mean the pot farmer isn't caught, but his crop ends up going up in smoke -- and not in the way it was intended.
Desmond said deputies found and eradicated 21 marijuana plants in Esperance. They also spotted about 50 additional plants at an undisclosed location that they plan to go after.