Coming into the spring season is always a beautiful time of year. As Shakespeare wrote, “From you have I been absent in the spring, When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim, Hath put a spirit of youth in everything…”
And when April comes, or even March, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department will once again be on the lookout for new mountain marijuana grows.
“Just because we have caught several in the past number of years, doesn’t mean they will stop trying,” noted Sheriff Kerry Lee. “They are getting smarter and more crafty, finding better ways to hide their grows from aerial detection. Grows are still being found, but more on foot, than by aerial surveillance.”
Lee said he does anticipate having at least one or two grows started in Lincoln County, either in new places, or as has happened before, trying to expand on an old growth area that may have lain dormant for a number of years. “We are going to be meeting with our partners in this effort, the Eastern Nevada Narcotics Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and others. I have put in requests for monies to fund some marijuana grow eradications. I feel pretty confident that we will be able to retain some of the funds we have received in the past and will look to start early.”
Southern Utah had some trouble with large marijuana grows for a few years, but it now seems to have slowed down, Lee noted. “Either that, or they are just keeping them better hidden, which is definitely happening elsewhere. The growers are hiding things better by doing less clear cutting and mixing the marijuana plants in amongst the existing vegetation and finding more remote sources of water. Definitely getting smarter in seeking to keep it away from the eyes of the public and law enforcement,” he said.
Most grows that are discovered are usually by someone hiking through the area.
“Utah has slowed down, but Nevada has remained pretty steady, with a few each year.” Lee said. And not just the rural south part of the state, Nye, Esmeralda and even Humboldt County have also had some, he mentioned.
Asked about marijuana growers possibly looking for locations in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lee thought it probably was not a good location, “because the growing season there is much shorter, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. They are trying to branch out further.”
If anyone does come across a grow while hiking, or see things that look completely out of place for that area, they are asked to not approach, but report to local law enforcement authorities the date and location.