A man in Texas discovered $2 million worth of marijuana plants growing in a back-woods area of a ranch he recently acquired.
ABC News is reporting a Chambers County, Texas, rancher Tuesday was checking out the land he recently leased from the Army Corps of Engineers when he stumbled on the massive marijuana-growing operation. Two individuals were at the site, but fled after seeing the rancher approach. Texas authorities are now investigating in hopes of determining who is responsible for the massive marijuana scheme.
“Primarily, the most impressive thing of it was that it was a pretty elaborate growing operation,” Chambers County Sheriff’s Officer Brian Hawthorne told ABC News. “There is no doubt they understood the principles of what it was going to take to create a watering system [and] the environment that they needed to have so as to start the marijuana plants from a seedling.”
When officials arrived on the scene, more 5,500 potted marijuana plants were found, with an estimated street value of $2 million. The plants have since been turned over to state police to be destroyed. Other items were also found in the clearing. Aside from the actual plants, deputies found the individuals were also living on the site. There were two tents, canned goods, eggs and other camping materials.
Texas officials have not yet been able to find the individuals caring for the marijuana plants, but the size of the operation suggest a larger criminal element.
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“They were answering to somebody,” Hawthorne said. “Some of the equipment we seized from the site of this marijuana-growing operation we feel is going to lead us to additional criminal enterprise.”
Currently, 22 states allow the legal use of medical marijuana under varying specified possession limits and other restrictions. Colorado and Washington allow the use of recreational marijuana. Texas does not allow the use of recreational or medical marijuana.