Drug agents cut down a field full of marijuana nestled deep in the woods of Leon County.
A 14-month investigation is over and a suspected drug dealer now off the streets. Among the forestry and wildlife of the Apalachicola National Forest are marijuana plants, about 150 of them, and when 54-year-old George Colby, II arrived around 9:30 Friday morning to water them, he was arrested.
SGT James McQaig of the Leon County Sheriff's Office said, "The defendant was taken into custody in this location right here. As he was tending and cultivating his plants, we announced our presence. He complied with us and was taken into custody without incident."
Investigators found marijuana plants in three different areas of the forest. As authorities hacked through the woods, our news crew was able to see the plants, many of them six feet tall and just about ready for production and distribution.
SGT Chris Chase of the Leon County Sheriff's Office said, "These plots were very far back in the woods, they're secluded, they were camouflaged. They were placed in such a way that they would be hard to detect by law enforcement."
It took countless hours and months of undercover agents lying low in the bushes in camouflage before Colby was finally caught. His stash is headed for an evidence locker instead of the street.
Colby is charged with cultivation of marijuana, and because he had a gun, he is also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
There are law enforcement officers assigned to the Apalachicola National Forest. During a routine check they found the marijuana.
This whole investigation was a joint effort between the Leon County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Forest Service.