Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

A large drug bust north of Fort Scott this week yielded over $100,000 worth of marijuana. Investigators found ten fields of marijuana and which are believed to have been run by Mexican nationals.

Busts like this are becoming more prevalent in the United States.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said they Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department is looking for fields and operations similar to this one as the operations are becoming more and more prevalent.

Groves said these operations are extremely sophisticated. He said many times these operations have lookouts and booby traps in the fields. He said typically there are crews out in the fields 24 hours a day.

Groves said they currently have not seen anything as sophisticated or elaborate as this operation run in Cherokee County.

Groves also said he could not comment on whether or not drug cartels would be responsible for the operation outside of Fort Scott. He said that is normally determined on a case-by-case basis.

Groves said CKSO has been working with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for some time. He said they have kept in contact with them and have done some training with the KBI to prepare for situations like this one.

Groves also said CKSO works with counter-drug agencies to find these sorts of operations. He said they have done fly-overs of Cherokee County looking for fields. He said it really helps to have a bird’s eye view of the area.

Groves also said a lot of the areas they look at are large wooded areas, but some of the trees have been cleared to aid in searches. Groves said they also investigate tips from Cherokee County residents.

Groves said one of the things residents can keep a look out for is suspicious activity. He said the suspicious activity can include suspicious vehicles showing up in the area, people dropping off coolers, bringing food and an increase in unknown traffic.

Groves said if an operation is suspected CKSO can be notified at (620)429-3992, or the KBI can be notified at 1-800-KSCRIME.

Additionally, Groves, said they do not want citizens harmed trying to find out more information for themselves, so it is best to contact the authorities if anything suspicious is seen.