Tom Erickson, public information officer for the Johnson County Sheriff’s office: “During this year’s Operation Constant Gardener II, officers arrested 13 people, seized over 40 live marijuana plants, over a pound of processed marijuana and several grams of other drugs including hashish and methamphetamine. Officers also seized over $3,100 in cash, three guns, a stolen flatbed trailer, ATV and a stolen gun. In addition, in Johnson County over $15,000 were assessed in drug tax stamp violations.”
For the second year, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, along with law enforcement agencies on both sides of the state line, ”celebrated” 4/20 by shutting down indoor marijuana grow operations.
The daylong project is called “Operation Constant Gardener II” and takes place during 4/20 (April 20) a sacred holiday for marijuana users.
“They consider this a holiday to use marijuana openly,” Sheriff Frank Denning said at a mid-day press conference, “so we’ve decided to celebrate that day with them.”
Denning said marijuana is the “number one” illegal drug abused in Johnson County, statewide and nationwide.
“We do take this very seriously,” he said.
The operation was to continue into the early evening hours, but by 2 p.m. had resulted in 10 search warrants executed and the confiscation of 43 marijuana plants, one pound of processed marijuana, methamphetamine, smoking paraphernalia, growing equipment, three guns and more than $3,000 in cash.
Those numbers were expected to increase into the evening hours.
Stolen items recovered included a trailer, an ATV and a gun.
Denning said it was not known how many arrests were made during the raid.
“I probably won’t know until later this evening or tomorrow morning,” he said.
The Gardner News has confirmed that at least one of the raids took place near 183rd and Center streets in Gardner.
Also participating in the operation were the Shawnee Police Department, the Kansas Department of Revenue, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.
Last year, the operation resulted in the seizure of 52 marijuana grow operations, more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana, $5,000 worth of property and 47 weapons.
During the press conference, sheriff officials displayed a seized marijuana plant that would produce an estimated one-half to one pound of processed marijuana. Processed marijuana sells for between $4,000 and $5,000 per pound.