Farmer finds marijuana plants while harvesting his corn crop

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MONROE COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - Deputies in Monroe County, Illinois are looking for suspects in three cases where small marijuana operations were hidden in rural corn fields.

The most recent operation was discovered Saturday in a field near Mayestown Road and Long Lake Road, southwest of Waterloo. A farmer was harvesting his corn crop when he came across something he didn’t expect.

“And about thirty rows into the corn, he found three plants he suspected to be cannabis plants,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Department Lt. James Lansing said.

Deputies value the plants at about $12,000 if they were cut up and sold in small amounts.

The plants were moved to an evidence locker in Waterloo while deputies look for suspects, but they concede that finding a culprit will be tough.

“He’s gonna be pretty upset and it’s gonna be hard to find him now that the field is down,” Lansing said. “And when he drives out her e and sees the corn has been cut and his plants are not longer there he’s not gonna stop and get out of his car and go looking for the plants.”

Deputies say this find, and the other two, are not unusual for this time of year. Corn fields are good hiding spots.

“About this time of year when it’s time to harvest the crops it’s also time to harvest the cannabis crops. So they like to plant their cannabis plants, in the middle of woods, open areas in woods, so they’re not easily seen,” Lansing said.

The sheriff tells us by phone he was surprised by criticism the department has received on Facebook for using resources to go after a drug that is legal in some places. Neal Rohlfing says he can’t pick and choose the laws he enforces, and as long as pot is illegal in Illinois, he’ll enforce that law, too.

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