HILL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) Authorities recovered about 10,000 marijuana plants worth millions of dollars after a hunter stumbled on a pot farm on Corps of Engineers property a few miles outside of Malone in Hill County.
(Photo by Chelsea Edwards)
The Hill County Sheriff’s Office received a tip call about the operation on Monday.
In order to pinpoint the site, the sheriff’s office used a drone in the air to guide deputies on the ground.
Authorities say it’s the largest marijuana growing operation in the county’s history.
“We found approximately 10,000 plants,” Hill County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Winningham said.
Investigators also found a mile-long irrigation system that transported pond water to the plants and an elaborate, well-hidden campsite.
“There were 13 to 15 tents for the workers. They had air mattresses, blankets, clothing, backpacks, and then they had several kitchen type areas- tables, tarps- all the comforts of home,” Winningham said.
Most of the marijuana plants at the site had already been harvested, but deputies destroyed the remaining stalks and hauled in what was left behind by the workers, including a few gallon-sized Ziploc bags of prepared product.
Authorities say the leftover plants will dry out over the next several days before being stripped, weighed, then destroyed.
Investigators estimate that the secret operation produced around $8 million worth of marijuana.