Wardens help seize millions of dollars in marijuana plants.
If you thought game wardens only dealt with wildlife crimes, think again. The Texas Game Wardens have announced the seizure of a huge marijuana operation in Menard County.
Game wardens had been conducting aerial patrols on June 29 when they spotted the grow operation on a ranch in the eastern part of the county. And the growers were apparently no amateurs. Wardens and members of the Menard County sheriff's office confiscated some 40,000 marijuana plants in the bust.
According to a press release by the Texas game wardens, the value of the plants is estimated in the millions of dollars. Officers also discovered camps and irrigation for the operation in the area.
"Our game wardens have encountered armed subjects protecting grow sites, located discarded firearms within the sites, and have been contacted by hunters and landowners who have unknowingly come across these sites," Colonel Craig Hunter, TPWD's Law Enforcement Division Director said in the release.
Even though game wardens are normally associated only with wildlife crimes, Texas game wardens often assist in these grow operation investigations. This is because there are often ties with poaching and trespassing issues involved.
Game wardens often deal with environmental crimes. Many cases involve growers cutting timber on public land. They also sometimes cause pollution through the use of insecticides, fertilizers and other chemicals in their operations.
"These large grow sites introduce a significant criminal element into the rural areas of the state," Hunter said in the release. "We will continue to assist local, state, and federal law enforcement whether we come across grow sites incidental to our normal patrols or are called to assist."