Aquinnah police are investigating a late August discovery of 20 marijuana plants on a Sheriff’s Meadow property off Lighthouse Road.
A Sheriff’s Meadow employee called the department August 22 to report the discovery of marijuana plants on the conservation land located off Lighthouse Road, according to a police report by Officer Steven Mathias. The land is a wooded and swamp lot and the only access to the property is a right-of-way path owned by five different people.
On the west side of a tennis court a “clearly visible and well-traveled path into the woods” led to a dead end where about 20 marijuana plants were found enclosed by plastic fencing. The smell was strong and consistent with marijuana, the police report said, and the plants were in a swampy, muddy area that is difficult to access. The Sheriff’s Meadow employee said the property was last checked sometime over the winter.
The marijuana plants, averaging about five feet tall, were in plastic pots and “appeared green and healthy,” the report said.
Officer Mathias wrote that there was at least one set of distinguishable foot prints on the path and in the fenced area. When police later revisited the site, brush and tree limbs were blocking access to the path.
The Aquinnah police worked with Wampanoag Tribal Ranger Curtis Chandler to install a motion-activated trail camera, the report said. The camera was placed pointing toward the path, the police report said, and they camouflaged the camera and covered their footprints.
Two days later the police department confiscated the marijuana plants, and the plants were secured at the Aquinnah Police Department “until they can be destroyed,” a report by Aquinnah Police Officer David Murphy said. The report added that the police department was pursuing leads, including camera images, in the ongoing investigation.
Aquinnah Police Chief Randhi Belain told the Gazette Tuesday that the police department is still investigating the case but they have a pretty good idea about the identity of the marijuana gardener. Anyone with information can call the Aquinnah police department at 508-645-2313.