A Civil Air Patrol plane circled the sky over Chatham County today, just south of Pittsboro.
Its pilot helped guide deputies and a National Guardsman into a marijuana field they'd detected from the air.
Law officers cut a path half a mile long through some of the roughest terrain in the county. A 30-minute hike led them to a patch, covered with dozens of mature, well-manicured marijuana plants.
Deputies armed with machetes ripped through the wooden stakes and netting that surrounded the crop.
The weed was uprooted in a matter of minutes, bringing a quick end to a crop growers spent months cultivating.
Lawmen made short work of the field where 34 tall plants once stood. They may never know who planted this crop. But they'll settle for finding it in the field before it hits the streets.
"Most of the time we just get it off the street. We have a good day, they have a bad one," said Det. Sgt. Charles Perry.
Deputies bundle the plants and drag them back through the woods to be destroyed. At this size and age, the plants could have been harvested any day.
The growers will know soon enough that lawmen were here.
Sheriff Don Whitt left his "business card" at the site.
And this was but one site the officers destroyed Saturday. In all, deputies collected more than 150 plants from several locations in Chatham County.
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