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Lee man arrested after VSP helicopter finds marijuana plants

Wes Bunch • Jul 17, 2013 at 7:53 AM

JONESVILLE — A Jasper man is facing felony charges after marijuana eradication efforts in Lee County reportedly led to marijuana plants being located Monday on his property. A Virginia State Police helicopter, which is loaned to local law enforcement for annual marijuana eradication efforts, was used to make the find, Lee County authorities said. The operation is being conducted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force. As a result of the alleged discovery, charges of manufacturing marijuana and possession with intent to distribute are currently pending for Eddie Marvin Robinette, 49, 3706 Jasper Rd., Duffield. Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons said officers from both law enforcement agencies were in the process of locating marijuana grow sites in the Jasper area when they discovered a number of plants growing on Robinette’s property. Lee County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Jimmy Woodard said officers found between six and eight plants that were fully grown and had been well maintained. The find allowed Lee County deputies to obtain a search warrant and execute it on Robinette’s residence. Once inside, deputies allegedly discovered two ounces of marijuana that had been processed and packaged for resale, along with three ounces of methamphetamine and an assortment of various prescription narcotics. Parsons said the recovered drugs will be sent to the state forensic lab in Roanoke for analysis. Once that process is complete, the charges against Robinette will be taken before a Lee County grand jury for possible indictment.The eradication efforts that led to Robinette’s charges are scheduled to continue in the region for the next several days, Woodard said. “They’re doing this throughout Southwest Virginia,” Woodard said. “They’re in Dickenson, Scott, Wise, Washington counties. This is a process that just recently started.”Woodard said the annual use of the VSP helicopter, coupled with the cooperation of the SWVA Drug Task Force and officers from agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, is extremely beneficial in helping Lee County authorities combat local production of marijuana.“We’ve got the Forestry Department, members of the state police and drug task force, as well as regular officers,” Woodard said. “We had three or four of our officers out yesterday, so it’s a pretty big thing. It’s a yearly thing, and to be able to have that resource is a big help. If we didn’t have it, there’d be a whole lot less we’d be able to knock out.”

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