Police in Switzerland managed to discover a two-acre field of marijuana while using Google Earth as part of an investigation. Growers, you may be able to hide your goods from police in fields of corn, but you can't hide from the all-seeing eyes of Google.
By Jacqui Cheng | Last updated January 29, 2009 2:09
Google Earth has proven useful for a plethora of things—finding your house from space, checking out islands in the Pacific Ocean, and now, finding massive fields of weed. At least that's what happened in Switzerland, when Swiss police managed to come across a "large marijuana plantation" while using Google's popular software.
(We'll pause while fans of Mary Jane fire up Google Earth.)
Swiss police say that the marijuana field was discovered in Thurgau sometime last year while they were investigating a suspected drug ring. Officers were apparently trying to use Google Earth to locate the exact address of two farmers they suspected of being involved in the ring, and came across the two-acre-large planation hidden in a field of corn in the process. "It was an interesting chance discovery," Zurich police's specialist narcotics unit Norbert Klossner told the Associated Press. No kidding.
The investigation had already yielded the seizure of 1.2 tons of hash and the arrest of 16 people. The criminal investigation targeting the 16 suspects (which we presume to include the two farmers) is scheduled to wrap up in February, and Prosecutor Gabi Alkalay said that she plans to ask for prison sentences for all involved.
The police didn't acknowledge whether they did anything to the field they found, but we think it's safe to say that it will probably soon disappear from Google Earth if it hasn't already.