Hog hunters discover a marijuana growing operation on the Cooper Wildlife Management Area of northeast Texas, valued at more than $6 million.
Yes, you read that right: a group of hog hunters discovered a massive marijuana growing operation with over 6,500 plants deep in the woods of the 14,480 acre Cooper Wildlife Management area near Dallas.
They notified the game warden, which resulted in law enforcement officers from multiple agencies to descend upon the remote marijuana growing site. Upon further investigation, they surmised that the site consisted of a well-developed campsite with tents, farming tools, fertilizer, a generator and water pump irrigation equipment.
Large marijuana growing operations located on remote parcels of public land are not uncommon. According to Texas Game Warden Captain Steve Stapleton:
This was not someone playing around and experimenting. The camp was at least a mile from any road in some harsh conditions. They picked this spot on purpose and spent day and night out there for some time. There was a lot of trash to clean up.
Though Texas Department of Public Safety and local sheriff's deputies conducted extensive search of the surrounding area with helicopters and tracking dogs, they were unable to find and arrest the people responsible for the growing operation.
Law enforcement officials burned all of the marijuana located at the site, which was valued at over $6 million. They also confiscated all of the growing equipment.
Unfortunately, the marijuana growing operation resulted in significant damage to the woods in the area because of their extensive use of soil-contaminating pesticides and the fact that they cut down some old growth hardwood trees.
Since the plants were fully mature, law enforcement officials theorize that the growers were getting ready to harvest all of the marijuana and close up shop prior to the October opening of archery deer season. However, they obviously did not count on being discovered by hog hunters in September.