By Becky Holland
An investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations’ Division led to the seizure of …
By Becky Holland
An investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations’ Division led to the seizure of more than 18,000 marijuana plants from southeast Madison County.
Friday, July 12, deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, along with officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations’ Division, with assistance from the Madison County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Highway patrol, were pulled the marijuana plants from what appeared to be an outdoor marijuana growing operation on a rural property on FM-247 in Madison County.
The marijuana plants, which were estimated at being around 18,400, were valued at 9 million dollars. Numerous pieces of evidence were taken from the scene and will be analyzed. Further investigation and arrests are pending.
According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, they had received a tip from local deer hunters who had come upon one of the groves of marijuana plants.
Larry Shiver, an investigator with the Madison County Sheriff’s office, said that Sheriff Nealy then notified the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations’ Unit. “The operation was very well-organized ... they had three electric pumps, one gas pump and a generator.”
It appeared that those who were overseeing the marijuana operation had fled, but Shiver said they left a multitude of pieces of evidence from which the law officials could use to get DNA and other information from.
Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley said that the seizure was “outstanding work by all of the parties involved.”
Calling this ‘bust’ one of the largest in Madison County, if not the largest, Shiver said it was still under investigation, and that it appeared those who were involved with the operation were living on the land.
“We checked it thoroughly before we even went on the property for booby traps, as pot growers are known to do that. If any hunters come across a grove in rural areas, they need to stop immediately and call us, because of the possibility of a booby trap,” Shiver said.
Anyone with any information in regards to illegal drug activity in Madison County should call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 936-348-2755.