BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - Lee County sheriff's deputies discovered the county's second largest pot bust in history near Bishopville on Tuesday.
The 850 marijuana plants were found near Timber Creek and King Road. "We're on our way to cleaning the county up," said Sheriff Daniel Simon. "We're glad to take that off the street to where somebody else won't get hurt with it."
Deputies also found a tent with toiletries and cooking utensils near where the plants were growing, indicating that someone was living in the field and tending to the marijuana at night.
"They've been out there with fresh footprints within the last couple of days," said Simon. "It's not something that's been here for a long period of time. Within the last week we feel assured that it was well tended to."
Simon admits that without the tip of a citizen, they never would have found the field. Military officials were brought in on Wednesday to help deputies remove the plants from the area. Officials said they needed help from the military to actually get to the pot because it's so far back, they couldn't even get to it. "It would have been very difficult to actually go get it from ground level because we had the most difficult time trying to find it even after they spotted it from the airway and lead deputies into the woodline," said Simon.
Simon says the marijuana plants have a value of over $850,000. Right now deputies say they do not have a suspect.
Sheriff Simon says the pot operation was in a swamp-like area, so the growers didn't need much for the plants to blossom. He thinks this operation started at least four months ago, because some plants were six feet long.
Simon warns that woods and overgrown areas are prime targets for criminal activity, and your vigilance can help put a stop to it. "If they see any illegal activity, where somebody is going in a highly visible area, like this, they see people going in and out, they need to contact the sheriff's office to see what's going on," said Simon.