Fifty-four marijuana plants and a pair of guns were among the items confiscated during pot eradication efforts in Wyandot County on Friday.

A Butler County chopper flew around the county to search for marijuana plants, joining Wyandot County Sheriff’s deputies, Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents, the Wyandot County Prosecutor’s Office and the METRICH Enforcement Unit, throughout the day Friday.

After several sweeps over much of the county, thunderstorms ended the efforts before 5 p.m., said Deputy Edwin Gottfried of the WCSO.

In total, marijuana was located in six separate locations in the southern, northwestern, northeastern and eastern parts of Wyandot County, Gottfried said.

No citations were issued, nor were arrests made immediately, but Gottfried said reports were forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review for possible charges.

The last time helicopter marijuana eradication was conducted in Wyandot County was three years ago, Gottfried said.

Most participants volunteered their time, and other than the salary for one marked road unit from the sheriff’s office, Ohio BCI offers the program at no cost to Wyandot County taxpayers.

The only possible felony that could come from Friday’s marijuana eradication activities involves the discovery of two guns at the residence of a registered sex offender, Gottfried said.

After receiving permission to search the home, officials located a loaded .22-caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun home defense model that allegedly were accessible to the sex offender, who had not been charged as of press time.

All of the other possible charges are misdemeanors involving cultivation and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Gottfried said the residents asked about marijuana cultivation overwhelmingly were cooperative and several admitted to growing pot.

Officers located 25 of the 54 plants in one garden and more plants were found drying in an outbuilding at the same location, the deputy said.

Eight to 10 plants were found at the majority of locations, he added.

In November, Ohio residents will have an opportunity to vote on a proposal to legalize marijuana for
recreational and medicinal purposes in the state.

If passed, it would be the first state to go from complete prohibition of pot to complete legalization, and Ohio residents ages 21 and older would be permitted to grow up to four plants at their homes.

Gottfried said the sheriff’s office has received intelligence indicating much of the marijuana sold in Wyandot County streets comes from Mexico, and most heroin addicts started smoking marijuana before moving to harder drugs.

Originally published in the Daily Chief-Union