Marijuana found on Gulf State property

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 6, 2005

When Perry County Sheriff’s Department deputy Arthur Plummer visited a stretch of remote rural property along County Road 23 on April 27, he had reason to believe he might find something. He didn’t realize, however, he’d find so much of it.

“I went to check it out,” he said, “and when I walked out I saw a marijuana plant. Then I walked and saw another one, and another one. I just picked ’em as I went.”

The end result was 401 “material” marijuana plants removed and destroyed and a major drug bust for the county. Plummer estimated that the street value of the destroyed plants would be “up in the thousands.”

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No arrests have been made in the case yet, but that could change soon, Plummer said.

“I’ll put it to you like this: I’m happy with the position we’re in,” he said. “We’re working the case, and we have a pretty good idea who it is.”

The bust began when the Perry Sheriff’s Department received a tip that the plants were growing on the property in question.

“We had an anonymous individual call in to tell us about it,” Plummer said. “We’ve got several concerned citizens who help us. Like every other department, we also have a number of informants we rely on for information like this.”

The property where the plants were found is owned by the Gulf State corporation (and possibly by Rock-Tenn in the near future), but Plummer said that the plants’ remote location meant that there was no chance the company could have known about the drugs growing on the property.

“What had happened,” Plummer said, “is that Gulf States had purchased the property from another company and replanted it. Then later someone came in behind and planted the marijuana. The plants were close to the trees, on a slope next to a creek, where they could catch the sunlight in the mornings.”

Plummer said that once he had discovered the plants, he double-checked with the state’s drug Task Force before taking further action.

“I made contact with the Task Force, and they said to go ahead and destroy them,” he said, “so we pulled them up and they’ve been destroyed.”

Plummer added that that area–the Northwest end of Perry, near Bibb–will be under close surveillance in the coming weeks.