MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - A Damascus farmer is offering a $50,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever tried to poison his crops.
Roy Stanley, who runs Stanley Grain and Fertilizer, said someone snuck onto his property around 9:30 p.m. on April 21, climbed on top of a tanker used to distribute fertilizer, and contaminated it with herbicide. Luckily someone who lives on the farm spotted the attempted sabotage, Stanley added.
"If we hadn’t caught it, it would’ve been about a $1.2 to a $1.5 million loss to our operation, which would’ve actually financially destroyed us," he said Thursday. "We would’ve had to go out of business."
On April 21 at approximately 9:30 p.m., a suspect was observed driving onto a storage yard area of a farm located on Long Corner Road.
Stanley now believes the same thing happened last year and did damage about 600 acres of corn, although he didn’t know it at the time and thought maybe weather could be to blame because, unlike this year, they hadn’t seen anything suspicious.
One week later, employees on the farm discovered additional contamination of fertilizer in another piece of farm equipment.
"For somebody to come in and be able to put us out of business with this one incident is unbelievable," Stanley told FOX 5.
He desperately wants to know who did it and why.
"I just can’t have this holding on my back," he said. "You know every year I gotta plant my corn, and we gotta be on guard if somebody is out to basically put us out of business."
Montgomery County Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call the 5th District Investigative Section at 240-773-6273. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).