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Sheriff's deputies make more pot busts
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On Monday, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office added two more suspects to a throng of marijuana manufacturing arrests.

Investigators executed a search warrant at 1646 Fort Howard Road in Rincon. They found 87 marijuana plants, the sheriff’s department’s largest seizure so far, according to Capt. Mike Bohannon.

Roger Barlow, 46, and Debra Kocsis, 49, were arrested and taken to the county jail. The couple has been charged with manufacturing marijuana. They remain in police custody.

Bohannon said the department learned of the operation through helicopter surveillance. He does not doubt that there may be more operations in the county.

“We’re continuously looking,” he said.

And the latest seizures are nothing new for the county as marijuana operations have been taking place here for some time.

“We’ve been doing this for years,” Bohannon said.

So far, a total of 154 marijuana plants have been recovered in less than a week. According to the captain, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent these illegal operations.

“We’re trying to be as proactive as we can,” he said.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency 1,558.8 kilograms or about 3,435 pounds of marijuana were confiscated last year in Georgia. It is the most commonly abused drug in the state and is easy to get from anywhere in the state.

The DEA reports that outdoor cultivation is increasing because of the favorable growing conditions in the region. Nonetheless, indoor planting is becoming more common due to the drought conditions in the state and the agency’s eradication program.