Stanislaus National Forest, CA — Scott Johnson will be the first to tell you it´s all a part of the job.
“It” being hanging from a 100 foot long line connected to a Jet Ranger helicopter. That is the manner in which T.N.T. Supervisor Johnson along with other members of his unit and C.A.M.P. team members were flown into a number of marijuana grows on Friday, July 20. The grows were labeled as Five Mile Creek, Clark´s Gulch, Rose Creek One and Rose Creek Two. All were located within the Stanislaus National Forest.
While hanging from a helicopter may seem a bit scary, Johnson welcomed the opportunity to be flown into a marijuana garden rather than having to hike in a couple of miles.
Johnson adds that you have to go through 16 hours of training through the California State Department Of Justice to qualify for a helicopter “short haul.” Then you must be recertified at the outset of each year.
On this day five two man teams were flown several miles into the gardens from a landing zone (LZ) located off Italian Bar Rd. They spent approximately six hours eradicating 15,145 marijuana plants … a one day record for T.N.T.
Tomorrow in the third segment of our week long series, Marijuana Eradication; T.N.T. Style, we´ll visit with the helicopter pilot who spent his Friday flying team members into the grows and flying out the 15,000 plus plants for eradication.
Broadcasts of our weeklong series can be heard each day on AM-1450 KVML at 6:30am, 7:30am, 8:30am and our overnight newscasts. The series can also be heard on STAR 92.7 at 6:20am, 7:20am and 8:20am and on Today´s Country, KKBN (93.5), at 6:30am, 7:30am and 8:30am.
Written by Bill Johnson