FHP pilot Sgt. Randy Allen located
two marijuana fields from the air.
While conducting routine air operations to check for speeders, FHP pilot Sgt. Randy Allen spotted two locations where marijuana plants were being grown. According to Lt. Mike Burroughs, "Sgt. Allen has for years now had a knack for spotting marijuana fields from the air." This time, his observations lead to multiple arrests and a significant drug bust. After spotting the pot fields, Sgt. Allen contacted his fellow officers on the ground to investigate.
The first site had 37 plants, valued at $37,000. A search warrant was obtained for the residence located at 690 Feather Lane, Fort White. Troopers Tim Strickland, Michael Jordan and Scott Howard, with the assistance of FDLE and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, confiscated an additional 51 marijuana plants, which were discovered at the residence-used as an indoor growing operation. FHP placed the two suspects under arrest and turned them over to the Columbia County SO. The total value of the drug seizure was estimated at nearly $75,000.
Meanwhile in another location, Sgt. Allen had spotted a white female attempting to cut down five marijuana plants, valued at $1,000 each. Later, Troopers arrested the suspect. She was taken to jail and booked on drug charges in Columbia County.