New technology leads to huge pot bust in Hampton

Posted at 6:24 PM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-05 05:50:21-04

Hampton, Va. - Hampton Police are taking action against crime and getting results.  New technology for Crime Line tips led police to a huge pot bust last month.

Police say a quiet backyard off Todd's Lane was hiding a big secret: A huge Marijuana operation.  Hampton Police Corporal Jason Price said, "If you can imagine 25 marijuana plants which were 6-7 foot tall, it was packed with marijuana plants."

Corporal Price took us to the neighborhood where police made the bust and told us. "Which is a pretty unique find.  Not only is it a lot of plants, but it's outside, pretty much where the general public could drive by and almost see it being 7 foot tall."

It turns out that's how police say they found out about all this marijuana in the first place.

A tip came in through the Peninsulal Crime Stoppers new website.  That first web tip for the department got big results.  And Hampton Police didn't stop there.  They also teamed up with State Police and the U.S. Army to check out the backyard from a Blackhawk helicopter.

Corporal Price said, "And they flew over it about 700-100 feet above it and were able to verify a suspected marijuana grow operation here."

So last Thursday, police searched the property and arrested 68-year-old Marvin Degutis.

In addition to almost $25,000 worth of marijuana plants, police say they found surveillance equipment and a gun.

Corporal Price said, "We also were able to get a firearm off the streets.  A firearm not only from a drug dealer, but also someone who is a known felon."

You now have two new ways to take action against crime on the Peninsula.  Police there just started accepting web and text tips.

Text HAMPTONPDTIPS plus your tip to CRIMES or 274637.