Acres of pot plants discovered on Cooke County farm

COOKE CO., TX--One local farmer begins his daily chores, only to discover a multi-million dollar drug operation on his own property.

In Cooke County, deputies worked with the farmer to destroy more than $6 million in marijuana.

It's the largest drug bust, officials in Cooke County have ever seen.

Acres of 2-foot marijuana plants, hidden among shrubs and grass.

Authorities say, the time and effort put into the operation is not something that could have been done by amateurs.

It's been a dry couple weeks for area farmers but that didn't stop the growers of a 2.5 acre marijuana operation; they used alternative methods to water their crops.

"Tubing actually ran from one of his stock tanks, over to his pasture, and it was gravity fed, and had different spouts throughout the field where it would water," Chief Deputy, Jim Carter, said.

Not far from Lake Ray Roberts sits a private acreage in Southeastern Cooke County.

As the owner tended the land Monday morning, he discovered an irrigation system just inches below the surface, that wasn't his.

He followed the tubing to a section of his land that had been cleared for a marijuana farm.

"They had built a perimeter around the patch, with the brush and stuff they cleared, which was probably about for feet tall, all the way around," Carter, said.

The owner immediately called the sheriff's office, but deputies were unable to locate any of the illegal growers.

For seven hours, they pulled 3,280 plants from the ground.

"This was so sophisticated, it was actually planted in rows, like you plant a crop. It actually made it a lot easier for us," Carter, said.

With help from the land owner, deputies then burned the plants and buried what was left.

Deputies estimate the plants would have been mature and ready for sale by July and could have sold for about $6.3 million.

While they haven't seen anything of this magnitude in Cooke County before, they say farms like this are becoming increasingly popular.

"Probably ten years or more we really haven't seen outdoor growth, but now they're starting to come back," according to Carter.

Deputies found a make-shift campsite where the growers appeared to be staying on the property.

If they're discovered, they could face second degree felonies.


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