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Officers make huge pot bust in Wing

Published 9:55am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A drug bust Tuesday revealed that Miracle Gro was the fertilizer of choice for two alleged pot producers in Wing.

The discovery came after Covington County Drug Task Force agents seized more than 400 marijuana plants and ended a six-week investigation into the operation located in three separate areas off Union Town Road.

The plants, which ranged to upward of five foot, were recovered after being spotted from the air by the state’s marijuana eradication unit, called ERAD, said DTF agent Greg Jackson.

Arrested were Hank William Taylor, 57, and Gerald Taylor, 52, on charges of drug trafficking and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. The two are being held in the Covington County Jail on a $1,020,000 bond each.

“Florala Police Chief Sonny Bedsole and DTF agents received corroborating information from a good citizen informant that there were several marijuana plants in the area,” Jackson said. “With help from the Alabama Beverage Control Board and ERAD, a plane was able to spot the plants from the air, and what was thought to be several turned out to be hundreds – 439 total in fact.”

Jackson said while in the air, officers noticed a man overturning potted marijuana plants in a clear cut area. Agents then went to a nearby trailer where Hank Taylor lived. Out back they laid eyes on the two of the three area grows – some 323 plants. The third site, which was also in walking distance of the trailer, yielded another 116 plants.

DTF Commander Mark Odom said while the day’s haul isn’t the largest of its kind in agency history, it comes in at a close second.

“The street value of one marijuana plant is $2,000,” he said. “So, if you do the math, that’s in the neighborhood of $878,000 that was seized today.

Agents obtained a search warrant for the trailer and recovered a multitude of items needed for the grow – seeds, scales, potting soil, and, of course, Miracle Gro.

Jackson said he believed the men intended to harvest and sell the marijuana and th at recent rains helped the plants thrive.

The plants will be sent to the state forensic lab for weighing and testing, he said.

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