Texas authorities made a surprising multi-million dollar discovery earlier this week after a rancher called to alert them of suspicious activity occurring on his property.
On Tuesday, Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said in a press release that his team uncovered an area on the land “where they observed a large amount of Marijuana plants.”
“The deputies realized the magnitude of the growing operation and requested additional assistance,” the release then said.
Ultimately, with the assistance of a special unit, 5,500 plants were collected which were determined to have a street value of about $2 million, the release added.
Authorities said the plants were at different stages of growth and the setup appeared to have been in operation for some time.
“Primarily, the most impressive thing of it was that it was a pretty elaborate growing operation,” Hawthorne told ABC News.
“There’s no doubt they understood the principles of what it was going to take to create a watering system [and] the environment that they needed to have so as to start the marijuana plants from a seedling,” he added.
Hawthorne told ABC News that while they haven’t found the responsible individuals, he thinks they may part of a larger criminal element.
“They were answering to somebody,” he said. “Some of the equipment that we’ve seized from the site of this marijuana growing operation we feel is going to lead us to additional criminal enterprise.”
The rancher’s name was not included in the press release issued by authorities.
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