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THP Chopper Pilot Spots Half-Million Dollar Marijuana Field

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | 07:00pm

Nashville, Tennessee — A Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter pilot, working with the Governor’s Task Force for Marijuana Eradication, spotted marijuana plants in a Cocke County cornfield Monday valued at half a million dollars.

THP Aviation Lieutenant Terry Botts located the marijuana field five miles east of Newport as part of a routine search. Members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, T-B-I, Tennessee National Guard, Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office are part of the Governor’s Task Force for Marijuana Eradication, funded by the D-E-A.

It is the largest harvest in Cocke County this year and perhaps the largest marijuana eradication in Tennessee this summer. The more than 45-hundred plants, ranging in height from eight to 15 feet tall, were collected and taken to the Cocke County Highway Department, where they were destroyed Monday evening.

Lt. Botts is a 30-year veteran of the THP and has served in Special Operations as an aviation pilot since 1990. Botts spotted the plants at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday and guided law enforcement officers on the ground to the illegal patches.

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