Aiken County cracks down on illegal drugs

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, August 28, 2007

AIKEN CTY, S.C.---Aiken County is cracking down to get illegal drugs off the streets. The latest incident was a meth lab bust this afternoon in Jackson.

49-year-old Corbin McRae is being charged with possession of meth and attempting to make meth. 44-year-old Mary McRae is being charged with attempting to make meth. They both are being held at the Aiken County Detention Center.

It's not just meth busts. It's prime time to harvest marijuana. Plenty of light and water are the main ingredients for illegal activity.

"It's just like any other crop. Corn has it's time. This is the time for the marijuana harvest," says Lt. Joseph Count with North Augusta Public Safety.

August, right in the middle of the mid-summer to early fall harvest season. But it's been hot and dry this summer. Bad for the crops, good for the cops.

"We've actually seen a little but of a decrease with our eradication efforts because of the drought we think," Lt. Count says.

Law enforcement is aware of the season and they aren't the only ones. Earlier this month, officers confiscated about 6 pounds of marijuana worth $30,000 at the North Augusta Gardens Apartment Complex.

Bill Laird lives there and says, "We see people walking on sidewalks, all times of night, days that don't live here."

That's why he's part of the Community Watch Program trying to get the problem solved. He urges his neighbors to report suspicious activity.

"Get that cars' vehicle description if you can. Get tag numbers. Call North Augusta Police Department, report it."

Lt. Count agrees. Law enforcement and the community need to work together to protect themselves and their property.

He adds, marijuana can grow anywhere: in a big field or in a garden. You may not even know it. There are certain signs you should look for to find out if marijuana is on your property.

"The best thing we suggest to them is to be familiar with their own property, understand what's on it and be familiar with what a marijuana plant looks like."

Some key distinctions of a marijuana leaf: it could be really green in color especially if it gets enough light and water. When the leaf comes off the plant, it will become dry and can look like oregano or parsley.

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