LEWIS - Law-enforcement officers discovered 822 marijuana plants in three separate patches in AuSable Forks Saturday.
A state police helicopter crew spotted one of the patches around 11:15 or 11:30 a.m. Saturday, said Essex County Sheriff Henry Hommes. State police then asked an Essex County sheriff's deputy they had seen nearby to investigate. State police, sheriffs' deputies and forest rangers searched and found three patches within a 200-acre area.
Sheriffs' deputies arrested John C. Corrow, 54, on Saturday evening, and Randy E. Spoon, 56, on Sunday and charged them with illegal marijuana cultivation, which is a misdemeanor violation of Public Health Law, and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
(Photo courtesy of the Essex County Sheriff's Department)
Corrow had 134 plants on his property and Spoon had 158, Hommes said; both of their patches were on their property and near their Spoon Circle Way homes. They were ticketed and released to appear in Jay town court at a later date.
The rest of the plants were in a patch on uninhabited land, Hommes said, on a couple-hundred-acre property owned by someone from out of town.
"We are endeavoring at this time to locate the people who planted those plants," Hommes said.
Hommes said there is no indication that Corrow and Spoon were acting in concert.
The Essex County Drug Task Force is handling the investigation.
The 822 plants would have had a street value of roughly $1 million after harvested, Hommes said. Most of the plants were about two weeks from maturity when found, he said, but some were mature. He said the quality seemed pretty good, but he cannot be certain, as he is not a marijuana user.
Contact Nathan Brown at 891-2600 ext. 26 or email@example.com.