Texas authorities bust pot farm valued over $4 million

October 20, 2011 12:22:08 AM PDT
Federal authorities are hard at work, clearing what investigators are calling a historic bust of a marijuana-growing operation in our area. We're talking about tons of pot being grown in a sophisticated cultivation operation in Liberty County.

It all happened in a rural area off of County Road 2050. It's the biggest marijuana-growing operation uncovered so far in Liberty County.

Officials found several tons of locally grown marijuana worth about $4-6 million, they say. Liberty County Sheriff's deputies along with agents from ATF, DEA and ICE descended on the operation on Tuesday.

There were said to be three separate fields involved, covering more than 150 acres. The operation included an elaborate irrigation system and a series of guard posts around the property. Officials also say the area was booby-trapped against intruders.

While the exact cartel hasn't been identified, investigators are convinced this was a cartel asset.

"I think this is one of many set up around the state," said Louis Guthrie with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office. "It's an integral piece of cartel operations. This was a multi-million dollar operation coming in every year. You're looking at $4 to $6 million dollars worth of marijuana sitting right there. This is some of the highest quality of marijuana available."

About the only thing that wasn't found -- suspects. They were likely tipped off because of the helicopters flying overhead when the surveillance was taking place.

As for the marijuana, it will remain held as evidence in an undisclosed location.

While investigators have some persons of interest, no arrests have been made. Those suspects may be safer in the custody of law enforcement then with the cartel.

KTRK-TV HOUSTON, TX contributed to this report.


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