Law Enforcement Plane Searches For Marijuana - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Law Enforcement Plane Searches For Marijuana

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BENTON COUNTY, Wash-- The Benton County Sheriff's office says they've found more marijuana this year than they ever expected. 

They have found more than 40,000 marijuana plants this growing season alone, and it's not over yet. KNDU flew in the county's plane with a detective searching for dark spots in crops.

We looked in places that are definetly off the beaten path. From a plane, though it is very hard for a grower to go unseen.

This plane has been used by the county since 1984 helping stop growers from invading local crops.

"It's used by the drug task force and we use it just in surveillance throughout benton county for search and recovery," said Det. Larry Smith, Benton County Sheriff's Office.

We flew around the county's most desolate areas for about two hours. The detective knows what he's looking for. He's spotted millions of dollars worth of plants, but we found nothing.

"We had some substantial grows found early in the year which kind of gave us a head start on the grow season," said Smith. 

This year they have had some major goldmines, or plant finds. Usually they will be in the middle of crops like this or even in caverns near creeks.

"We are in the grow season at least til October as part of the eradication season. We expect to find more at this time we are about at 40,000 plants, we're well above our normal," said Smith.

It would have been great to find some plants but it shows that the sheriff's office has been scouring Benton County and keeping growers mindful of what's going to spot them from the sky.