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Schoharie County Sheriff's department looks for marijuana plants

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Albany/HV: Schoharie County Sheriff's department looks for marijuana plants
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If you were in Schoharie County Wednesday, you may have noticed a helicopter circling above. The Sheriff's department with help from the National Guard Counter Drug Task Force was on the hunt for marijuana plants. YNN's Maria Valvanis fills us in on what they found.

SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. -- "Much easier doing it from the air, much easier to spot in the air," said Tony Desmond.

That's why Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond called in the National Guard Counter Drug Task Force to help him and his deputies spot marijuana plants.

Desmond said, "We have tips come in just about once a day, I would say."

"They look for it and if they find it, they'll mark it for eradication and someone will come in later to dispose of it or they'll call for back up on the ground," said Tech Sergeant Catharine Schmidt.

On Wednesday, crews spotted plants about a mile into the woods in Esperance. Directions to the plants were relayed to deputies on the ground.

"Chop that marijuana down," said Desmond.

Deputies returned from the woods with 29 plants.

Desmond said, "We'll hold on them, keep them for evidence and hopefully get some information."

And the ride above also brought along information of where more people are harvesting.

"We do have more that we can eradicate, but it's going to take time because the location is a little more difficult to get to, a little more further from the road, and it will take more than a four-wheeler to get back there," said Desmond.

The Sheriff says he believes marijuana is the number one problem in the county when it comes to illegal substances.

"As you know, the county is a very rural county and there's a lot of forest lands and remote lands," Desmond said.

That's why he takes advantage of being able to call in the Counter Drug task force for back up.

"Just to keep drugs off the streets, out of the schools and this is just one of the ways of doing it," said Schmidt.

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