According to a March 7 report, Texas law enforcement agencies have taken multiple people who were believed to be involved in various marijuana fields into custody. Fifteen different marijuana fields have been discovered in multiple East Texas counties since 2015.
The investigation began in July 2015, after three marijuana sites were destroyed. Approximately 22,000 marijuana plants were seized. At this time, some of the accused individuals were identified. One of these individuals was identified as a leader of a drunk trafficking organization. Additional marijuana fields were then located. Ultimately, approximately 77,000 marijuana plants were seized, amounting to about $101 million in street value.
Thirteen individuals, all of whom appeared to be Mexican Nationals, have been determined to be involved in the marijuana fields. The 114th State District judge issued 13 state warrants. Eleven of those warrants recommended a $200,000 bond while the remaining two warrants recommended a $400,000 bond. Although most of the individuals have already been located and taken into custody, it was noted that Immigration and Customs Enforcement also detained several others who were present but may not have been involved in the marijuana fields.
People who are handed drug charges could also be facing serious consequences that may include a jail sentence and substantial fines. Depending on the evidence the prosecution has, a criminal law attorney may argue that the defendants were unaware that they were growing marijuana as they could have mistaken it for something else. In other cases, the attorney might try to strike a deal with the prosecutor that would involve a plea of guilty to a lesser offense.
Source: KHOU, “Arrest in ETX marijuana fields linked to Mexican drug cartel, deputies say“, March 7, 2017