July 19, 2006
Investigators said they haven't seen this much marijuana growing in Louisa County in more than 15 years. Sheriffs said they normally find maybe 25 plants, and they consider that a good bust. On Wednesday they confiscated more than 300 plants.
During a routine helicopter search of the area, the Louisa County Narcotics Task Force spotted four patches of marijuana plants growing behind a home on Mt. Airy Rd.
Investigators said the homeowner heard the chopper and took off running. He dropped a box of evidence including marijuana seeds along the way. Sheriff’s K-9 Maggie caught up with the suspect in a field of marijuana plants. Many of the plants were well over 15 feet tall.
“Right now we've been through three of the four plots and already recovered over 200 plants. I think [the estimated count] is 220...and there is an excess of 100 plants in the fourth plot, each plant having a value of about $1000,” said Major Don Lowe of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Dept.
This adds up to more than 300 marijuana plants at a total street value of over $300,000.
Investigators say one plant equals one pound of marijuana; it would take a casual user one year to smoke one pound.
With over 300 pounds here, sheriffs say this wasn't planted for personal use.
“This is well over the typical user amount,” said Lowe.
Sheriffs charged that homeowner, Geoffrey Cummings, with possessing and manufacturing marijuana and with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
This bust was a joint effort between Louisa County, Fluvanna County, the ABC Board, the governor's "Giant" team, Virginia State Police, and the National Guard.