Swiss Police Spy Marijuana Field With Google Earth

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) — Swiss police said Thursday they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation while using Google Earth, the search engine company’s satellite mapping software.

Police said the find was part of a bigger investigation that led to the arrest of 16 people and seizure of 1.2 tons (1.1 metric tons) of marijuana as well as cash and valuables worth 900,000 Swiss francs ($780,000).

Officers discovered the hemp field in the northeastern canton (state) of Thurgau last year while investigating an alleged drug ring, said the head of Zurich police’s specialist narcotics unit Norbert Klossner.

The plantation, measuring almost two acres (7,500 square meters), was hidden inside a field of corn. But officers using Google Earth to locate the address of two farmers suspected of involvement in the drug operation quickly spotted the illegal crop.

“It was an interesting chance discovery,” said Klossner.

Prosecutor Gabi Alkalay told reporters in Zurich that she plans to complete her criminal investigation in February, after which she will formally charge the 16 suspects and ask for prison sentences for all of them.

The gang is alleged to have sold up to 7 tons (7.7 US tons) of hashish and marijuana between 2004 and 2008, with an annual turnover of 3-10 million francs a year, officials said.

– Article from the Associated Press



  1. smartass on

    the swiss police using google earth again found and even larger grow-op…. only problem is they don’t got juristiction in jamaica haha

  2. cx420ns on

    i just fired up the ol GE and went to Thurgau, pretty damn clear resolution, it’s believeable. nothing but farmer fields XD

  3. Anonymous on

    Enjoy being high, but afraid of heights, lol.

  4. the yeti on

    Sounds more like they used google earth to find the address of the farmers. Guess they Swiss police never heard of a phone book or public land records.

    Yeah, I’d like to see what pot plants look like from space too. The resolution on google earth isn’t that good so I really doubt the Swiss drug-busters could see anything more than a lot of fuzzy greena and brown pixels. Maybe they were wearing special glasses like those x-ray specs sold in comic books.

  5. OGgrower on

    any one find the pictures from google earth Id like to see what pot plants look like from outerspace if been there a couple times over the years but never look down cause im afraid of heights