Russia Busts Pot Growers… From Space

By Sadie Bass

Jan 21, 2010 10:14am

ABC's Alexander Marquardt reports from Moscow: Russia’s drug police now have another weapon in their arsenals – spy satellites. A senior Russian counter-narcotics official in Russia’s Far East said Thursday that his forces are teaming up with the country’s space agency – Roscosmos – to find and destroy cannabis fields. "We have been in contact with Roscosmos since late last year," Lt. Gen. Alexander Rolik told reporters, according to state-run news agency RIA Novosti. Rolik said Roscosmos sends the police the coordinates of the fields, which are then destroyed.  So far, the partnership has resulted in the destruction of 119 acres of marijuana and the seizure of 4.4 tons. “We provide all regional departments of the Federal Drug Control Service with video and photo materials and our monitoring,” Roscosmos spokesman Alexander Vorobjev told ABC News, declining to disclose their methods. Gen. Rolik told reporters that satellites have been used successfully in the Amur and Ural regions of the country, according to RIA Novosti’s report. A year ago, Swiss police spotted a hemp field on Google Earth measuring almost two acres.

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