NNN Reporters Newsroom Forum  

Go Back   NNN Reporters Newsroom Forum > RSS FEED

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-12-2017, 01:29 PM
Captain Pancakes's Avatar
Captain Pancakes Captain Pancakes is offline
Clark Kent Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,565
Default East Texas marijuana fields tied to a Mexican drug cartel; three arrests made

Three people have been arrested, and 10 more suspects are sought in connection with a widespread East Texas drug trafficking operation with ties to a Mexican drug cartel.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said during a Tuesday press conference that law enforcement officials can trace more than a dozen illegal marijuana grows in the region to the Los Zetas cartel.

“It’s not just marijuana … they’re associated with stolen firearms, they are associated with methamphetamine distribution and things of that nature,” Smith said. “It’s going to stop here in East Texas.”

Law enforcement officials identified Eduardo Ramirez Pineda as a leader of the local drug trafficking organization.

Pineda oversaw the daily operations of at least 15 marijuana cultivation sites in East Texas, officials said. Pineda and Benito Duarte Ramirez are considered fugitives and are among the 10 suspects being sought in connection to the crime.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has detained four others who Smith said were associates of those involved with the operation.

The 15 marijuana cultivation sites span at least nine East Texas counties including Smith. Federal State and local law enforcement agencies partnered in this investigation which lasted from July 2015 to December 2016.

From July 2015 to November 2016 officials seized 77,000 marijuana plants from 15 sites. Smith said those plants have an estimated street value of more than $101 million.

Smith said in East Texas the cartel often identifies wooded areas in remote locations where they can grow marijuana.

“They will stay out there in a tent and just have their food and stuff brought to them,” Smith said.

He added that from now until summer, as the weather starts to warm up, landowners should walk their land and report any strange activity.

Multiple state, local and federal law enforcement agencies have worked together to target the marijuana grows since they began popping up in East Texas from July 2015 to October 2016.

Speaking at Tuesday’s press conference, Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham commended all the agencies that have worked to eradicate the marijuana grow operations in Smith County and across East Texas. He added he expects the punishment for those involved to be substantial.

“These cartels, or these people that generate these fields will stay where you let them stay … (law enforcement have) gone out there and been very proactive in saying they are not going to allow it in their community.”

ILLEGAL MARIJUANA CULTIVATION SITES BY COUNTY AND PLANT COUNT

JULY 2015(X3) SMITH COUNTY 22,000

MARCH 2016 SMITH COUNTY 4,000 (cups w/seeds)

AUGUST 2016 HOUSTON COUNTY 3,964

AUGUST 2016 SABINE COUNTY 2,862

AUGUST 2016 UPSHUR COUNTY 2,786

AUGUST 2016 SMITH COUNTY 4,125

SEPTEMBER 2016 ANDERSON COUNTY 3,828

SEPTEMBER 2016 SMITH COUNTY 4,867

SEPTEMBER 2016 ANDERSON COUNTY 5,214

SEPTEMBER 2016 MORRIS COUNTY 4,406

SEPTEMBER 2016 VAN ZANDT COUNTY 3,375

SEPTEMBER 2016 HENDERSON COUNTY 9,010

SEPTEMBER 2016 UPSHUR COUNTY 7,087

SEPTEMBER 2016 HARRISON COUNTY 3,334

OCTOBER 2016 UPSHUR COUNTY N/A

TOTAL PLANTS SEIZED 76,858

http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-Breakin...e-arrests-made
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.