The somewhat bold, almost new world of phone apps has now become a main player in fighting the sorta-scourge of weed.
A tipster used iWatchHarrisCounty to point officers to two houses that ended up housing more than $2.5 million worth of marijuana when they were raided this week.
HCSO and Houston Police Department officers and K-9 dogs raided the two homes at 6422 Bonnie Chase Drive and 10802 Waterfern Court for their big score.
"A total of 269 hydroponic marijuana plants were seized at the Bonnie Chase Drive location," HCSO says. "A total of 297 hydroponic marijuana plants were seized at the Waterfern Court location. The total estimated street value of the seizures is approximately $2.5 million."
Two men were arrested: Long Bui, who turns 25 today, and James Dang, who just turned 41 yesterday. They're being held on $250,000 bond each.
HCSO is not the only one crowing about getting on the Internetz.
The FBI and local agencies say they've caught 35 gang members featured on the stophoustongangs website in the past year.
The FBI says that tips through the site have generated more than 600 gang and gang-related arrests since it began in 2010.
The website has proven to be an effective crime fighting tool, and its reach has stretched far beyond Houston! Wanted FBI fugitive Raul Sergio Madrigal was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges on January 14, 2009. Madrigal eluded authorities for more than three years and was believed to have fled the United States. After being featured and publicized as the website's weekly most wanted fugitive on May 3, 2012, a promising tip was submitted to the website.
On May 22, 2012, law enforcement authorities in Mexico, working together with agents from the FBI and DEA, arrested Madrigal in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He was extradited back to the United States on November 15, 2012. He is currently awaiting trial in Houston, Texas.
Bonnie & Clyde never had to face the unimaginable power of the Web. Then again, they never grew hydroponic weed.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.