Put down that joint! Google — and the police — may be watching you.
Swiss police stumbled across a massive marijuana plantation using Google Earth. The bust netted 16 arrests, 1.2 tons of pot, plus cash and valuables worth 900,000 Swiss Francs (US$780,000).
The arrests were part of a larger operation, said the police. Officers were using Google Earth to find the addresses of two suspects, then coincidentally discovered two acres of weed hidden inside a corn field. Whoops.
Frank Taylor of the Google Earth blog had a few interesting questions about the case. He writes that the search was done in 2006, and Switzerland wasn’t updated in Google Earth until February 2007. “So, maybe there was a high res image in [Google Earth] back in 2006 that was more recent and did show the crop. I’d still like to know the location and see the original image the police used that shows the crop.”
Criminals take note: you’re going to have to be an eensy bit cleverer in this digital age.