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Marijuana plants cut down

By Staff
Growing in a field off road in Aurora
By CHRISTINA HALE
Staff Writer
Twenty-seven marijuana plants were removed from a field about 150 yards off N.C. Highway 33 in Aurora on Wednesday morning.
During several months of surveillance by law-enforcement authorities, the person who planted the plants never returned to claim them and, therefore, couldn’t be charged with growing them, said Aurora Police Chief Mike Harmon.
Police first noticed the illegal plants in April.
A resident noticed the plants and reported them to police. Harmon said the property is a “heavily wooded area owned by PCS Phosphate.”
Police conducted surveillance operations involving the field for several months, but no one returned to the area.
The plants grew to about 4 feet tall before they were cut down.
Police seized a three-gallon pump sprayer used to spray fertilizer onto the plants. Spray paint was used to paint it black, Harmon said.
The drum was part of an irrigation system for the plants. Wire cages were erected around the bases of the plants in an effort to keep out wildlife and provide support to the stalks. Each of the plants was marked with ribbon.
“All in all, it was a rather sophisticated grow,” Harmon said. “The street value would have been in the thousands.”
Small marijuana patches, often cultivated within a field, are typical in rural North Carolina, Harmon said.
Harmon said it is “unfortunate” that no one could be charged with growing the marijuana, but “at least it’s out of the ground.”