for immediate release
July 31, 2003

N E W S   R E L E A S E

One or more marijuana growers in northern Okaloosa County may find a surprise the next time they try to tend to the illegal crop: the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office has already harvested it.

Eighty-eight marijuana plants were uprooted this morning (Thursday morning) at three separate patches under cultivation. The largest plot, with 49 plants, was off Mattie Kennedy Road in the northwest portion of Okaloosa County. Another 33 plants were seized at a location off East Highway 90 near the Shoal River, and seven plants were pulled from the ground at a location near the railroad tracks of Antioch Road.

The plants ranged from a few inches high to almost ten feet tall.

The illegal crops were discovered via aerial surveillance with the aid of the Florida Air National Guard, and with the assistance of citizens who provided valuable information.

So far this year, 104 marijuana plants under cultivation at various locations in northern Okaloosa County have been destroyed by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. The identity of the individuals responsible has not been established; no arrests have been made at this time.

Citizens with information about cultivation of marijuana may contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office at 689-5650 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 863-TIPS (863-8477) or toll-free at 1-888-654-TIPS.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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