Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/20/google_pot/

Google Earth goes to pot

In the rolling-your-own sense

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Media, 20th October 2006 14:17 GMT

As regular readers know, we here at El Reg have had hours of fun playing with Google Earth. We've found marauding insects, mysterious scale reproductions of bits of the China/India border, not to mention swastikas and black helicopters too numerous to link to.

But never have we used it to track down fields of homegrown. No, we'll leave that to the fine officers of the Racine County Sheriff's Department.

According to reports, a man was arrested when officers found 18 pounds of homegrown in his car, after he was pulled over for one of those "routine traffic stops". The haul was worth between $63,000 and $140,000. Commentators suggest, however, that this estimate might be a little high for a couple of bags of buds.

Dean Brown, 37, of Racine, also had about his person a GPS navigation unit, in which he had cunningly stored the co-ordinates of various fields throughout the county.

You can guess what happened next.

Yes, the boys in blue (or possibly brown) went to investigate the fields, first checking the co-ordinates on Google Earth to work out the location. They found marijuana plants growing at four of the locations, and subsequently charged Brown with four counts of manufacturing marijuana, in addition to the charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Brown faces a maximum of 59 years' jail time, since he has been charged as a repeat drugs offender. ®