An anonymous tip to the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office led to the discovery of 155 marijuana plants in a secluded, wooded area near 6161 Ashgrove Road on Tuesday morning. The street value of the plants is an estimated $150,000.
“We came on out and made contact with the homeowner and advised her of the tip that we had, and she indicated that nobody should be on the property camping or anything else and gave us permission to check the farm,” deputy Anthony Purcell said. “The caller gave pretty detailed directions to the alleged grow site, (and) once the deputies checked the area, we came into contact with the grow area located in the woods with well over 100 plants — 155 plants.”
Deputies said those responsible for tending to the plants went through painstaking efforts to care for and conceal the pot.
“They had made water pools near a small creek to collect water to irrigate, and a camouflage system had been set up to hide the plants,” Purcell said.
Surrounding the plants was an elaborate system of black plastic tarps that the people responsible for growing the pot had crafted to cover up the plants. In addition, the foliage around the area also offered significant concealment.
Purcell said the camouflage would have made it difficult to spot the grow area from Kentucky State Police flyovers.
In addition to the pot, deputies also found a tent, indicating that whoever was responsible had spent considerable time at the location.
“We even found several extension cords to run power into the area,” Purcell said, adding that a portable generator was probably used to supply power.
Inside the tent, deputies found clothing, a camp stove, a television and mattresses, including a toddler’s mattress.
“There was a toddler mattress in the tent, and some clothes for small children and children’s toys were located in the area as well,” Purcell said. “It does appear that whoever was taking care of the grow out here was obviously bringing their children or child out here; we don’t know for certain, but that’s what it looks like.”
Based on the size of the plants, Purcell said the pot had been in the ground for a while.
“They’d been here most of the summer, probably since spring,” he said. “This was an operation that was taken care of; these plants were nurtured like somebody’s garden or crop. Somebody has taken time to take care of these.”
Purcell said the size of the discovery was significant.
“Normally, when we get tips like this, it’s a few plants, maybe 10 or 20 at the most,” he said. “More often than not, it’s on the lower end, maybe five or six plants.”
Purcell said as it gets closer to September, deputies are finding more and more pot.
“On this shift, this is probably the fourth or fifth one that we’ve been on in the past three or four weeks,” he said. “(The marijuana) is maturing now and starting to become more noticeable.”
No arrests were made, but Purcell said the investigation is still ongoing.
Purcell said that if anyone suspects or discovers a grow area to contact the sheriff’s office at 859-887-5447.
“Anybody living in the county that finds this on their farm or are out taking a nature walk, call us; we’ll come out and take care of this,” Purcell said.