Updated 08/30/2012 03:51 PM
State Police in helicopters looking for marijuana
Harvest time is on the horizon for legal and illegal crops. Last year, the State Police found and destroyed close to 4,500 marijuana plants across the state. Our Megan Cruz took to the air with them Thursday for their annual marijuana hunt.
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NEW YORK STATE -- "They're going to wrap that up in a nice little package," said State Police pilot Sergeant Kathy Humphries.
A view from above as the State Police harvests illegal marijuana in Washington County.
August is prime time for growers to harvest the plant, so pilots across the state will take to the air. They say these aerial operations are instrumental in taking marijuana off the streets.
They've been doing these for several decades, but Thursday's eradication was their largest, with close to 6,500 plants.
"Typically our flights will generate an eradication effort of a couple dozen, perhaps just over a hundred plants," said Major Charles Guess of the State Police's Aviation Unit.
Sgt. Humphries says they're easy to spot.
"The color is a very distinct brilliant emerald green and it really pops out against the natural vegetation," she said.
But not easy to get rid off.
"They're cutting the marijuana by hand, so a very grueling process," Humphries said.
The marijuana will be taken to an evidence facility and destroyed. No one was arrested in connection with this harvest.
Major Wayne Olson with the State Police's Community Narcotics Enforcement Team said, "We certainly arrest people whenever that opportunity arises, but really the elimination of the marijuana off the street is ultimately the goal."
They'll continue doing these aerial operations until about October.