Anonymous Tip Leads to Large Pot Bust in North Harris County
An anonymous tip to the Harris County Sheriff's Office led deputies to a large marijuana grow operation in North Harris County on Tuesday, according to sheriff's officials.
Several marijuana grow areas were discovered in a wooded area off of I-45 N and Rankin Road, near a cemetery, after investigators used HCSO helicopter to pinpoint the location.
Deputies estimate that the fields -- four in total -- contained approximately 1,000 marijuana plants, which had grown between 2 and 4 feet high. The sheriff's office puts the plants' street value at about a half million dollars.
The seizure in North Harris County follows a number of other major marijuana busts in the region this month.
A sophisticated grow operation was unearthed during an August 19 raid in Fort Bend County near the Sugar Land Regional Airport. Authorities there confiscated between 9,000 and 10,000 marijuana plants, with an estimated street value of around $10 million dollars.
Police are now looking for Benigno Ramirez of Michoacan, Mexico, whose "selfie" was found on a cell phone at a makeshift campground during the raid.
He and another unnamed suspect are wanted for questioning in connection with the pot field, said Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office spokesman Bob Haenel.
Another massive marijuana grow operation was discovered in Polk County in late July. Authorities were alerted to the existence of the grow operation by a deer hunter in the area who stumbled across the pot plants in a wooded area in Goodrich, Texas.
That grow operation was well-hidden and deep in the woods off Old Highway 35, about 70 miles from Houston, with plants spread out across more than 2 acres. Police found 29 fields during the Polk County bust, which were outfitted with sophisticated irrigation systems and an underground power generator.
Authorities confiscated over 100,000 marijuana plants worth $175 million dollars during that bust, one of Polk County's largest in recent memory.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.