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Drug flyover results in two arrests
Marion‚ÄąCounty Sheriff’s Office
Drug flyover results in two arrests


Eric Owens


Helen Hazelwood

Article contributed by The Journal Record
By Scott johnson
News Editor
Hamilton - A Hamilton couple is being charged with first-degree manufacturing following an aerial drug search.
Eric Owens, 56, and Helen Hazelwood, 54, were arrested on Aug. 7 for growing two to three marijuana plants on their property in north Hamilton.
Both individuals were released the same day on bonds of $15,000 each.
The flyovers are conducted by helicopter by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Aviation Division and assisted by both the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama National Guard.
Marion County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris  Sims with the Marion County Drug Task Force told the Journal Record there were three helicopters involved in the search and about 22 officers.
Sims said those on the ground were directed to the couple’s residence once plants were identified on the property, just beyond a tree line in their backyard.
The plants were fully matured and being grown for personal use, Sims said. The plants were confiscated and  will be held as evidence.
These types of finds are not uncommon, according to Sims, who said in the past, these types of searches have resulted in finding large groves of marijuana being grown.
Sims said an aerial search has not been conducted in the county in three years.
(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.)
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