What began as a drug enforcement raid turned out to be a colossal mistake in Bartow County, Georgia after members of a drug suppression task force went after a man who was simply growing a food crop that is especially common among gardeners in the south.
Dwayne Perry of Cartersville, Georgia recently noticed a police helicopter hovering low over his property, taking stock of the area which included several plants (and one tree) that cops believed to be marijuana based on their dark green appearance with similar-looking leaves.
Soon, deputies began to converge on his doorstep along with one drug dog according to this report which originally was compiled through CNN affiliate WSB, and they were not taking any chances according to Perry.
They came in “strapped to the gills,” he said.
But Perry, who was understandably shaken by the incident, wasn’t growing anything illegal after all.
“Marijuana” in Raid Turns Out to Be Okra
Okra is a favorite food among gardeners in the southeast part of the United States especially, and while it does look fairly similar to cannabis, it has 5 leaves instead of cannabis’ usual 7 or 9, as Perry pointed out in the video below.
Despite that pronounced difference, deputies carried out the armed raid, during which (luckily) no one was hurt.
Captain Kermit Stokes of the Georgia State Patrol apologized for the error and noted that the plant had characteristics that are similar to cannabis plants. The Georgia State Patrol also reportedly issued private and public apologies.
“If we disturbed them in any manner that’s not our intent,” he told the CNN affiliate in an Oct. 7 article.
Perry is still stunned at the mistake and wonders if the outcome could have been different.
“The more I think about it, what could happen? Anything could happen…”
“Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing,”Perry said to WSB, while wondering what effect the raid might on his reputation in the neighborhood.
“Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain’t right.”
To see a video interview and pictures of the mistaken plants, check out the video below: