‘Largest ever’ marijuana grow operation in a state forest uncovered: Report

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About 1,000 marijuana plants were found growing in the Tuscarora State Forest in Mifflin County last month, according to a report from the Public Opinion in Chambersburg.

“Bureau of Forestry officials believe the pot growing operation is the largest ever uncovered in a Pennsylvania state forest,” according to the report.

On June 29, a three-month investigation by forest rangers involving tips from fishermen and photographs from trail cameras ended with the arrest of a Juniata County husband and wife.

Jeremy Leach, 35, and Erin Leach, 37, have been charged based on what state police found during a search of the couple’s home on June 29 along the 100 block of Summit St. in Mifflin, Juniata County.

Neither has yet been charged with crimes connected to the marijuana found  growing in the forest, the report states.

“Rangers reported an ‘extensive’ growing operation at the house. Handguns, rifles and a shotgun were found. Notebooks and diaries detailed growing operations. A map of Tuscarora State Forest was tacked to the wall of an upstairs room,” according to the report.

The Tuscarora State Forest consists of 96,025 acres on tracts in Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, and Perry counties, according to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Jeremy and Erin Leach have each been charged with drug possession and released from prison on $20,000 bail. Preliminary hearings have been scheduled for July 27.

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