BATAVIA, OH (FOX19) - The Clermont County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit has conducted a two-day operation to discover and eradicate marijuana plants before harvest.
The operation yielded 329 pot plants with a street value of over $329,000.
"Law enforcement used a variety of resources including all-terrain vehicles and helicopters to search open areas for plants, which are approximately two-thirds through their growing season," said Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg. "Plants range from four to eight feet in height, and are valued conservatively at $1,000 per healthy plant."
The plants were found in the following townships with Clermont County:
Batavia Township 11 Plants
Williamsburg Township 145 Plants
Tate Township 75 Plants
Franklin Township 6 Plants
Washington Township 18 Plants
Union Township 36 Plants
Brown County 20 Plants
Pierce Township 10 Plants
Jackson Township 4 Plants
Stonelick Township 1 Plant
Wayne Township 3 Plants
"Deputies follow up the discovery of the plants with the objective of identifying those who cultivated the plants. The penalties for cultivating marijuana vary depending upon the number of plants involved," said Rodenberg. "Once the plants are seized, they are destroyed, preventing distribution of the finished product," Rodenberg said.
Two individuals involved in the cultivation have been identified. Thomas Schuster, 58, of Bethel, and Ricky Hutchinson, 25, of New Richmond have been cited for Cultivating Marijuana and other cases are pending further investigation.