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Number of Marijuana Plants Seized Continues to Rise

AG's Outdoor Marijuana Eradication program already surpassing 2009 totals
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — A particularly busy outdoor marijuana eradication season continues to unfold, according to Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and his office's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI). The first six weeks of BCI's Outdoor Marijuana Eradication program has now yielded more than 50,000 marijuana plants seized – more than was recovered in Ohio in all of 2009.
In the last two weeks of August alone, BCI's eradication program seized more than 30,000 marijuana plants. In 2009, BCI counted 48,051 marijuana plants seized. Each of the last several years has seen a year-on-year increase: 40,158 plants were seized in 2008 and 37,835 in 2007.
"These totals indicate that our concerted effort this year on indoor as well as outdoor marijuana grows is needed," said Attorney General Cordray. "One of the grows busted in these last two weeks involved 22,000 plants found in Pike County – another one of the increasing number of Ohio grows likely to have Mexican drug cartels at their source. These carry danger not only for those who would use the drug, but for any Ohioan who might stumble upon these illicit camps. We will continue to be aggressive in seeking them out and tearing them down."
Other marijuana seizures in the last two weeks of August include 500 plants in Hocking County, 500 plants in Washington County, 374 plants in Lorain County and 238 plants in Knox County.
BCI leads the outdoor program during summer months, relying heavily on tools such as helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and partnerships with local county sheriff's offices and other law enforcement agencies around the state.
The BCI Outdoor Marijuana Eradication effort is active in a majority of Ohio counties, and often returns to individual counties multiple times during the season. The program reaches all four Ohio regions – Northwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest. Southeast Ohio generally leads the others in number of plants seized, based largely on the topography and favorable growing conditions found there.
To view videotaped images and information about BCI's Outdoor Marijuana Eradication program, please visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/MarijuanaEradicationVideo. Television newsrooms wishing to download raw b-roll of BCI's Outdoor Marijuana Eradication program for broadcast purposes are invited to visit www.ohiochannel.org/uploads/index.cfm?file_id=126604. This video is posted as a QuickTime .mov file with DV/NTSC settings.
For more information about the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, please visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BCI.