Aerial Pot Busts More Frequent

August 12, 2010 Updated Aug 12, 2010 at 11:39 PM EDT

By WKBW News

August 12, 2010 Updated Aug 12, 2010 at 11:39 PM EDT

It was a routine patrol for Captain Kevin Caffery with the Erie County Sheriff's department, scanning the ground in the Town of Tonawanda from his Air One chopper.

"Well to be honest with you were weren't even out looking for marijuana. We were on route to another call," said Captain Caffery.

And looking down from 1500 feet above, "We just happened to see quite a few marijuana plants that were growing underneath the power lines off the 290 near Delaware Avenue," said Caffery.

Fifteen two-foot tall marijuana plants to be exact. But it's going to be tough to find the culprit. Investigators plan to monitor the area to see if the person who planted the pot will come back to check on the stash.

"I'm not sure at this point what we could charge them with...what we could prove. Someone walking through the area to check on them may claim that, 'I'm just walking through here,' how do we know what they're there for?" commented Lieutenant Nicholas Bado of the Town of Tonawanda Police.

These aerial pot busts are becoming more common. Earlier this month authorities in the sky spotted about 20 large plants growing in the Town of Evans along the Lake Erie shoreline, and two more harvests were detected before that.

"Its a routine practice that they do. A lot of these growers, they'll put it along these power lines and heavy vegetation thinking we won't see but we just happened to come across it," said Caffery.

The confiscated pot gets destroyed by the Special Investigations Unit. And even though these cases are tough to crack authorities say with more frequent busts, they get more leads.