Chopper searching for marijuana struck by gunfire

GRIFFIN, Ga. (AP) - Authorities say a Spalding County Sheriffs Office helicopter searching for marijuana was hit by gunfire but sustained no structural damage and landed safely.

Sheriff Dee Stewart said, "The only thing I can tell you right now is that they were out looking for illegal plants and someone shot them down."

Special Agent Brian Smith, the pilot, along with another agent, were in the helicopter when it was hit above property across the line in Pike County.

Smith said, "We didn't hear the gunshots, we just heard it making contact with the helicopter. It sounded like tapping on the bottom of the helicopter. I immediately made a precautionary landing."

The incident is under investigation by federal, state and local agencies.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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