OBN Seizes Thousands of Marijuana Plants Near Ada - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

OBN Seizes Thousands of Marijuana Plants Near Ada


PONTOTOC COUNTY – The airborne view from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotic's Huey chopper shows bright green clumps- thousands of them- in a well watered clearing 15 miles north of Ada. The green clumps are marijuana plants, and they're part of what OBN calls one of the biggest marijuana growing operations in state history.

"Probably about 7,000 plants that they've been able to come up with at this time scattered out in different locations," Chickasaw Lighthorse Police criminal investigator Steve Cash explained.

OBN director Darrell Weaver stood in front of some of the pot plants, many of them taller than he as he told KTEN about the find.

"What you see behind me, plainly put, is a lot of marijuana. It's high-grade marijuana that they've watered and obviously cultivated," Weaver said.

The helicopter took KTEN Reporter Shannon McConathy from Ada Municipal Airport to a partially dried pond on the edge of the woods. From there, she and investigators hiked deep into the thicket through mud, rocks and thorns to get to the cultivation site.

"This is what we see on this type of growth, exactly. Very dense area. Unless you've got aircraft or something, you're not going to find this. You're not going to find this field, period," said Weaver.

There are no sidewalks or even well-beaten hiking trails. The group had to make their own path. The came in during the late morning hours, but the agents who first located the field came in under the cover of darkness.

"Sometimes when you look at law enforcement and narcotics it's glamorous and under-cover things like this. This is part of the job that oftentimes people don't see, the busting brush. We took the best pass we could, and it was tough," said Weaver.

Cash was asked if he was surprised at the finding. Everyone agreed that it was an impressive camp.

"The density of the plants- someone took a lot of effort to get water out here. The irrigation system in place took a lot of effort."

A campsite was found near the plants. Crude hand-made furniture sat under a tarp with various food items stored near by.

The find is similar to others that have been identified as Mexican cartel-owned operations. They are currently investigating that possibility. An identification card left at the camp site led investigators to believe they are looking for Hispanic males, and they believe there are as many as five.

Director Weaver is pleased with the work of his agents and the cooperation from Lighthorse Police.

"I'm proud that the Bureau of Narcotics and the local law enforcement had the courage to come out and do this type of thing."

Crews began destroying plants early Monday morning. Weaver says they are wasting no time getting rid of what they believe may be as much as $9 Million in street-valued marijuana.

"We're going to cut them and haul them out of here. There's a burn ban in Oklahoma, so we're not going to burn them,  we're just going to haul them out and take them to an undisclosed location," Weaver said with a smile.