7 Eyewitness News went along as the Erie County Sheriff's Office mounted a combined air-ground operation to raid hidden marijuana fields near Sardinia. Around 50 plants were recovered leading law enforcement to believe the secret growing patches were operated by a drug dealer.
From the ground, the areas are impossible to see because they are surrounded by corn stalks that are 8-9 feet tall. The Erie County Sheriff's Air One helicopter was needed to spot the hidden areas and direct deputies to their location.
While opioids, heroin and fentanyl have grabbed the headlines recently, Sheriff Tiim Howard said marijuana is still a concern because drug dealers are now mixing dangerous chemicals, like fentanyl, to make it more potent. "It is our experience that people who sell marijuana will also sell whatever it takes to make a profit," said Sheriff Howard.
Ed Reilly has exclusive pictures of the raid in his report.