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Turtle Leads Park Police To Narcotics Arrest

Rock Creek Park

National Park News

Ranger Ken Ferebee was tracking a box turtle outfitted with a radio transmitter on July 14th when it lead him to a small marijuana field that appeared to be actively tended. The field was in Rock Creek Park near the Maryland State line. Ferebee notified the Park Police. Officer Jeffrey Bloch and investigator David Hurley set up surveillance on the area. Bloch spent several hours in the woods watching the field from a concealed location. Bloch and Hurley subsequently saw a man caring for the approximately 10 marijuana plants in the field. They investigated, identified him, and applied for a warrant for his arrest. On July 30th, members of the Park Police Narcotics and Vice Unit, the Central District Crime Patrol Unit and Rock Creek Station arrested 19-year-old Isiah Johnson. Based on this information, detectives from the Montgomery County Police Narcotics Unit secured a search warrant for Johnson’s residence in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Johnson awaits extradition to the District of Columbia on the charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The turtle has now been affectionately named by the Park Police as Officer Mary Jane Hempfield.


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