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$9M marijuana growing operation busted in Madison County

Madison County Sheriff's Office
POSTED: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 3:35pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 8:07pm

It's a rural area nestled off FM 247 in Madison County where authorities say they uncovered a major marijuana growing operation tucked in the woods on some private property.

"A gentleman, the property owner, came to the Sheriff's Office and told us he had just leased his land to some deer hunters," said Madison County Sheriff, Travis Neeley. "They were out there to explore, mow some right-aways and put up some [deer] stands and they thought they found a big marijuana field."

On Saturday investigators with the Madison County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Public Safety went to check it out.

They found 18,400 marijuana plants, ranging from two to six feet tall, growing on the remote property.

It's the largest pot bust in Madison County history.

And the street value? An estimated $9 million.

"This was very unique, it was sophisticated," Sheriff Neeley said. "There were numerous bags of fertilizer, backpack sprayers, assorted tools that you'd weed with, camping facilities and even shower facilities so obviously this was about the third year in the grow out there."

Investigators seized the plants and confiscated all the evidence and Sheriff Neeley says an investigation is underway to find the people responsible.

He says either way it's a success because they put these drug dealers out of business for now.

"It won't come back to the community and it won't go to somebody else's because it's 18,000 plants that have been taken out of circulation."



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