GCSO deputies find 45 pot plants at three sites

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By Alice Du Pont

Acting on tips, deputies from the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office have confiscated 45  marijuana plants and 4 pounds of marijuana since Aug. 24 in three separate incidents.

Seven plants with an estimated street value of $7,000 were found on the back porch of a private home a few miles south of Quincy on Sept. 1. An arrest is pending.

The plants had heavy buds, which indicated they had been pruned often and were well cared for when found, according to GCSO Lt. Jim Corder.

In another incident Randall Shipley,  363 Cherokee Dr. in Havana, was taken into custody Sept. 1 after GCSO deputies found 4 pounds of marijuana in his home and 30 plants near his backyard.

"We were acting on Crimestoppers information and complaints from neighbors about the numbers of cars going and coming from Mr. Shipley's residence. We followed up on the complaints, which proved to be reliable resources and we were successful," Corder said.

Corder said a meeting with the Ochlockonee Estates Home-owners Association was invaluable in alerting the department of drugs and other crimes in their community. He said neighborhood and homeowner association meetings are an important tool in keeping crime at a minimum in residential areas.

On Aug. 25, investigators confiscated eight marijuana plants in a wooded area near Havana. The owner of the property notified authorities. The plants included one more than 8 feet tall, with a street value of between $5,000 and $8,000.

Anyone with information concerning suspicious activity is asked to call the GCSO at 850-627-9233.

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