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$20 Million of Marijuana Discovered In Two-County Operation in 2008

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. -- A multi-county, multi-agency operation led to the discovery of a marijuana field worth an estimated $20 million in Chester County, S.C., and three drug trafficking arrests in neighboring York County, S.C. on Friday.

Chester County sheriff's deputies said they found 10,000 marijuana plants growing in the woods off Douglas School Road.

"It's a rural area," said Chester County Sheriff Robby Benson. "The people that live in this area didn't realize what was going on."

Sheriff's deputies in York County charged Heliodorio Gonzalez, Ramon Corrales, and Maria Lopez with drug trafficking.

York County sheriff's deputies discovered more than 80 plastic bags filled with marijuana, worth an estimated $400,000. Deputies, they say the three suspects would've sold on the streets if they hadn't been caught.

"It's very satisfying," said Lieutenant Kelly Lovelace of the York County sheriff's office. "Marijuana is a gateway drug. It leads to harder drugs."

The marijuana plants discovered in Chester County are set to be destroyed on Saturday while the packaged marijuana discovered in York County will be stored as evidence.

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