Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

UCSD finds estimated $1.2M in marijuana

The Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department found more than 1,200 marijuana plants – an estimated street value of $1.2 million – growing in a remote area of the county last week.
“This is one of the largest outdoor grows we have found,” Sheriff Mike Hensley said. “We know that marijuana is being legalized in other parts of the country, but as long as the state says it’s illegal we are going to enforce the law.”
Hensley said a Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) helicopter spotted the plants growing in three large patches on the same mountainside in the Embreeville Community of south Unicoi County on Tuesday, June 23.
Working with the THP, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and First Tennessee Judicial Drug Task Force, Hensley and his officers rode all-terrain vehicles as close to the area as possible before having to continue in on foot due to the mountainous terrain.
“It was very steep,” Hensley said. “The plants were in an area where no one would go unless you had a reason to.”
Hensley said the grow operation was “elaborate.”
“They knew what they were doing,” he added.
After the plants were removed from the mountainside, Hensley and the officers burned the plants on the jail annex property.
As of The Erwin Record’s press deadline, no suspects have been named in the case.