(08/01/2001)
After a National Guard helicopter fly-over. a Ritchie County man has been arrested for growing marijuana. 56-year-old William David Smail of Pullman was arrested by the Ritchie County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia State Police Tuesday afternoon.

The drug raid reportedly produced 1400 plants in a barn lot and 1600 plants in a garden near Smail's residence. The value was estimated at $7.8 million.

Ritchie County is one of West Virginia's top five marijuana growers, and officials said this was the biggest pot bust this year in the county.

Police also searched the Pullman residents house and found several ounces of marijuana. He is being held in jail on $10,000 bond and will stand before the Ritchie County Grand Jury.

Three other pot growing patches were discovered during the fly-over.


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