A former Kentucky county sheriff who allegedly provided cannabis plants to local black market cultivators to grow on his property was caught with the help of microchips and piloted video cameras.
Peyman, who once worked as a sheriff in Jackson County, purportedly grew the plants on his farm under the guise of the state’s newly-implemented industrialized hemp program, which was put in place after a decline in tobacco production, one of Kentucky’s biggest sources of revenue.
As per the Lexington Herald Leader, police obtained aerial footage taken 350 yards away from the Peyman farm discovered marijuana plants kept in a tree line enshrouded by weeds. After these initial findings, authorities then implanted microchips into six out of the 61 plants for tracking purposes.
Once the officers were able to get a warrant to search Peyman’s land, home and various buildings on his property, these chips subsequently led them to a secret room in a barn where the former sheriff kept them. Ten more plants, in addition to the original 61, were confiscated.
When tested, the plants were found to contain a much higher amount of THC than is customarily found in hemp, which normally runs less than 0.03 percent.
While tracking devices specifically designed for marijuana plants have been around for years, this is one of the first cases in which law enforcement has used it specifically in an investigation. Usually, microchips like these are used by growers and others within the industry where weed has been legalized to make sure that plants stay within a state’s parameters. If plants are found over state borders, federal penalties could feasibly ensue.
Final Hit: Microchips Used to Track Marijuana Found at Ex-Sheriff’s Farm
After being taken into custody, Peyman admitted that he, along with two other men, had decided to grow cannabis in an effort for him to save his failing farm, with Peyman supplying the land and the others supplying the plants. His accomplices have yet to be identified to the press.
As of now, a hearing for Peyman is set for November 7, which will determine whether or not he will be indicted by the grand jury. If the jury moves on with the indictment, the case will proceed to trial. Currently, Peyman is out on bond.