KY Marijuana Eradication; a timeline of news & info; 1990 – 2016

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On the 8th of April 2010 the Kentucky Eradication Initiative received a national "Outstanding Task Force" award from the national High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area organization, recognizing them as the number 1 of over 600 other nationwide task forces in marijuana eradication. The Kentucky Eradication Initiative is comprised of personnel from the Kentucky Army National Guard, Kentucky State Police, USDA Forest Service, DEA, USMS, the USAO for the Eastern District and numerous local law enforcement agencies. In addition to eradicating 330,699 plants, there were 483 cultivators arrested state wide and $966,078.00 in forfeitable assets seized in 2009.  YEAR END REPORTS AVAILABLE THRU THIS LINK.

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Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force Photo Gallery 2014 – SOURCE LINK

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SOURCE VIDEO

The following are links to newsworthy items found through searching the internet, with regards to marijuana eradication in Kentucky …

2016

*The KSP worked with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the Tompkinsville Police Department and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department on Monday to destroy a large marijuana find consisting of about 5,600 plants in the Mill Creek area of Monroe County.  "This is the biggest (find) I’ve ever encountered in my life in my history of law enforcement," said Monroe County Sheriff Dale "Frog" Ford.  SOURCE

*BURNWELL, Ky. – The Kentucky State Police (KSP) Eradication Division made a substantial arrest in the war on drugs Thursday afternoon. Approximately 250 to 280 plants were confiscated by the KSP drug task force.   At the end of a quiet day at the headquarters of the Kentucky National Guard counterdrug program, Lt. Col. Gary Lewis flips through mission photos on his computer. In one shot, a Bluegrass State UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is stuffed to the gills with marijuana plants, doors unable to close. In another, flames char the illegal contraband at a controlled-burn site only walking distance from his office.SOURCE

*At the end of a quiet day at the headquarters of the Kentucky National Guard counterdrug program, Lt. Col. Gary Lewis flips through mission photos on his computer. In one shot, a Bluegrass State UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is stuffed to the gills with marijuana plants, doors unable to close. In another, flames char the illegal contraband at a controlled-burn site only walking distance from his office.  SOURCE

2015

VIDEO SOURCE

State Troopers with the Kentucky State Police Cannabis Suppression Branch examine $100,000 worth of illegal marijuana growing inside a cornfield in Burnside, Kentucky, U.S. on Monday, September 14, 2015. Shots: Two State Troopers use machetes to destroy Marijuana plants found in the middle of a cornfield, State Troopers with the Kentucky State Police Cannabis Suppression Branch carry marijuana plants seized from an illegal patch found in the woods in Pine Knot, Kentucky  SOURCE

2014

*$175, 465 million for National Guard Counter-Drug Operations, including support for the Kentucky National Guard to eradicate marijuana from the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Kentucky State Police reported nearly a half million plants were eradicated in Kentucky last year.  SOURCE

The Messenger-Inquirer reports every state police post plans to participate in the sweeps. Officials say while helicopter searches will be performed in every county, the time spent in each one depends on how much of the illegal drug is found in an initial flyover.  SOURCE

2013

*Kentucky State Trooper Corey King said so much marijuana is grown in eastern Kentucky that most of the plots they find through the program are grown as decoys, while the actual crop is hidden, grown elsewhere.  “They intentionally grow large areas for our suppression team to find,” King said. “It takes the focus off other areas.”  SOURCE

*Instead of conducting blanket flyovers, the agency said it will target areas where marijuana has been frequently grown in the past, and will use tips from snitches to schedule areas for inspection.  SOURCE

2012

*LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The KSP Cannabis Suppression Branch launched their annual outdoor campaign to eradicate cultivated marijuana with a two-day training including aerial spotting and repel techniques, GPS land navigation, ATV training, and booby trap awareness.  SOURCE

*Last year these morality thugs destroyed about 400,000 outdoor plants worth an estimated $800 million. Instead of a sensible taxation and regulation policy to help our economy and to stop incarcerating undeserving people, we’ll squander even more tax dollars this year in Kentucky for aerial support on this futile, and unwanted by the majority of the people, war on marijuana.  SOURCE

2011

*In 2011, Kentucky marijuana suppression teams eradicated nearly 400,000 outdoor pot plants from over 5,000 plots resulting in 371 arrests.  SOURCE

*Reefer madness? Copter and SWAT team weeded out 2 plants on their property  SOURCE

2010

*Kentucky Eradication Initiative Recognized as Top Nationwide Task Force in Marijuana Eradication.   SOURCE

2009

*On August 26, 2010, Ranger David Alexander made the maiden voyage of a Mammoth Cave officer flying in the Kentucky State Police (KSP) helicopter as they searched for marijuana fields in and around Mammoth Cave National Park.   SOURCE

*Machete-wielding police officers have hacked their way through billions of dollars worth of marijuana in the country’s top pot-growing states to stave off a bumper crop sprouting in the tough economy.   The amount only got bigger Thursday when helicopter spotters in Tennessee discovered a five-acre pot field near the Kentucky border and cut down more than 151,000 mature marijuana plants.   SOURCE

2008

*In existence for a year now, “Up in Smoke” combines the powers of one of the nation’s top-shelf marijuana eradication task forces here in eastern Kentucky and U.S. Attorney’s office prosecutors. With over a million dollars annually in funding, the program is celebrating its one-year mark, and those behind it are hoping to increase awareness — and let marijuana growers know they aren’t safe anymore.  SOURCE

2007

In 2007-2008, Kentucky was one of the top ten states for rates in several drug-use categories among persons age 12 and older: past-year non-medical use of pain relievers; past-month use of illicit drugs other than marijuana ; and illicit drug dependence.Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2007-2008 SOURCE

2006

*Police destroyed more marijuana growing outdoors in Kentucky this year than they had in more than a decade, according to numbers compiled by state police.
One factor in the increase was that the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration brought in several helicopters and an airplane for six weeks during the summer, creating more opportunity for airborne spotters to find pot patches, said Lt.  Ed Shemelya, head of the marijuana-eradication program for the Kentucky State Police.   SOURCE

2005

*During the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Kentucky have found and destroyed an average of more than 450,000 marijuana plants annually, or about one plant for every nine state residents.   SOURCE

2004

*(FRANKFORT, Ky.) Troopers from Kentucky State Police Post 12 in Frankfort seized 1,424 pounds of processed marijuana from a barn located on Lilliard Ferry Road in Woodford County yesterday. Two bags of marijuana and ten 12-foot-tall plants were also found.  According to KSP Post 12, the estimated value of the confiscated material is approximately $1.1 million to $1.4 million.  SOURCE

2003

*In 2003, 522,957 marijuana plants were eradicated in Kentucky, according to the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program.   SOURCE

2002

*Law enforcement reporting indicates that cannabis cultivation sites have been discovered on NFS and DOI lands throughout the United States. However, most cannabis cultivation on federal lands appears to be occurring in California and Kentucky, where a large number of plants have been eradicated in recent years. Marijuana producers cultivate cannabis on federal lands in plots that vary in size from a few plants, cultivated by independent marijuana producers for personal use, to tens of thousands of plants cultivated by organized criminal groups for wholesale-level distribution.  SOURCE

2001

*The U.S. Forest Service and other law enforcement agencies destroyed more than 200,000 marijuana plants in Eastern Kentucky’s sprawling Daniel Boone National Forest last summer.
Although below the record levels found in the early 1990s, the volume of pot being grown still is enough to make the forest a dangerous place.
The 695,000-acre forest represents less than 1 percent of the state’s land, but accounts for about 40 percent of the pot eradicated statewide, according to Capt. Harold Sizemore, who oversees the anti-drug efforts in the Boone forest.  SOURCE

2000

*In 2000 over 460,000 cannabis plants were eradicated in Kentucky, ranking it third behind California and Hawaii, respectively.  SOURCE

*Kentucky is one of five states that produces 90 percent of the nation’s domestically produced marijuana, and it is a leading producer state in the nation’s southeastern "marijuana belt."  DCE/SP operations were considered successful in 2000. Its efforts resulted in the arrest of 357 individuals and the seizure of 122 weapons and $507,607 in assets. In 2000 Kentucky eradicated 466,933 cannabis plants from 8,415 outdoor plots and 66 indoor plots.  SOURCE

1999-PRIOR

*(1990) The outdoor ring, based in Kentucky`s Marion County, called itself the Cornbread Mafia. The indoor group, based in Albuquerque, was dubbed The Company because it operated just like a big business. The two had little in common except that both reaped untold millions in illicit profits from the super potent form of marijuana known as sinsemilla.  SOURCE

*(1986) That first joint effort by state police and the Guard in 1986 was a one-day sweep, essentially a media event to publicize eradication efforts.
Now Kentucky’s eradication — cited as one of the top efforts in the nation — runs year round and uses a task force that involves many more police, troops and agencies, including the state police and National Guard, the DEA, the U.S.  Forest Service, the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and local officers. SOURCE

*(1985) Pesticide officials in Kentucky and Georgia–two other states that would be major targets of an eradication campaign–also said they had received no notification of the plan. Georgia officials said they had no objection to the use of paraquat; Kentucky officials said they did.  "We determined that our citizens are opposed to it and quite honestly we work for them," said Capt. Charles Johnson, chief of the narcotics division of the Kentucky State Police.  SOURCE

*(1989) According to Barnett, other growers and law enforcement officials, marijuana-eradication efforts in Tennessee, Kentucky and neighboring states are forcing some marijuana growers out of business and obliging others to resort to increasingly sophisticated ploys to avoid detection.  SOURCE

*(1989) WASHINGTON — "In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the Police Patrol, snooping into people’s windows."  That passage was written 40 years ago by George Orwell in 1984, a grim vision of what life would be like in this decade.  Orwell’s description of intrusive police surveillance was quoted Monday by the Supreme Court’s senior justice, William J. Brennan Jr., in a dissenting ruling that warned that Orwell’s prediction might be coming true.  SOURCE

"TRIBUTE TO SPECIAL AGENT JAMES HAROL SIZEMORE"   SOURCE

 

 

Do you hear the sound
            As the blades beat the air?
Do you look out your window,
            Or pretend like you don’t care?
Do you see the shadow move across the ground,
            Or do you just hear that heart pounding sound?
Do you hear that chopper coming?
            Then it won’t be long.
Do you know dope dealer?
            All your dope will be gone.

So work real hard to grow your weed,
            But when you come back don’t expect to find a seed.
I keep a sharp blade just to cut your grass,
            And if you plant more, I’ll just make another pass.
Do you know what your dope can do?
            I have seen what it does to you.
I know what your dope can do.
            I have watched children on it too.

For this, I will hunt you down,
            In the air and on the ground.
I will rappel down anywhere,
            Or hump through the woods, I don’t care.
Be afraid if I find you there.
            When the jury comes back only you will care.

I work marijuana erad,
            And I know all your hiding places.
I carry a badge, a knife, and a gun.
            And I have a thousand different faces.

A Kentucky State Trooper on Marijuana Eradication

SOURCE

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