State Marijuana Eradication Efforts
NOV 7--Seattle, Washington – Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Chief John R Batiste, Washington State Patrol, announced the results of the Washington Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) for 2005. To date, the DCE/SP program has worked closely with dozens of State and Local law enforcement agencies around Washington State to eradicate more than 117,000 indoor and outdoor marijuana plants. Investigations stemming from the discovery of these marijuana grows has resulted in the arrest of 310 individuals and the seizure of 260 weapons.
While this years seizures were slightly down from last years seizure of over 130,000 marijuana plants, agents and officers noted an increased effort by growers to circumvent law enforcement’s eradication efforts by cultivating smaller marijuana plots in different locations using a variety of concealment methods. Special Agent in Charge Rodney Benson noted that “this year the outdoor cultivators of marijuana attempted to hide their illegal activities by growing marijuana within the naturally forested areas on public and private lands. The illegal introduction of marijuana farms, with the associated armed thugs, clear cutting, chemical fertilizer, and haphazard irrigation, poses not only a physical danger but an environmental danger to the natural beauty of Washington State.”
Chief John R. Batiste stated “this year’s success is a testament
to the strong working relationships between law enforcement at all levels
as well as with the National Guard.” Citizens were also involved
in this success through their reporting of Marijuana grows to the Marijuana
Hot Line at 1-800-388-GROW. Additional information reference the DCE/SP
is available on the web at www.wsp.wa.gov
The Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP), which has been in existence since 1984, is tasked with removing domestically grown marijuana throughout the state. Federal money is given to selected counties around the state to support the marijuana eradication. City, County, State and Federal officers frequently utilize DEA and National Guard helicopters to fly in likely growing areas to spot grows. Units on the ground conduct follow-up investigation making arrests when possible and removing the plants for destruction.
The WSP maintains a hotline where tips reference marijuana grows can be given to law enforcement. The hotline number is 1-800-388-GROW. Citizens can remain anonymous and be paid up to $5,000 dollars depending on the number of plants discovered. The hotline program is designed to elicit additional information to law enforcement that would not normally be reported. For more information about the marijuana hotline program, please contact Lieutenant Richard A. Wiley, Narcotics Section at (360) 507-0453.
This marijuana field was found concealed among Russian Olive Trees in Grant County, Washington.