POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Crews from the Polk County Jail and a dozen different law-enforcement agencies started the day off early at a deer lease south of Livingston, working to harvest the many marijuana fields discovered Monday morning.
Polk County Sheriff Chief Deputy Byron Lyons said the count is up to 29 fields, with campsites at each field. Lyons said the total of harvested marijuana plants is now up to 100,197.
The sheer size of the operation, Lyons said, proves that the fields were being harvested for months.
"When we started looking at this, we thought it might be a short term operation, but it appears that this operation was a pretty long term operation by the fact that we're finding the new fields that were spread out over a large area," Lyons said. "It's kind of hard to say how long these guys have been here. Even though these plants are young plants, there's a possibility that there might have been mature plants that have already been harvested out and they are starting over again."
Joining the Polk County Sheriff's Office in assisting with the harvest are officers from DPS, Game Wardens from across southeast Texas, Angelina County Sheriff's Office, Livingston police, Onalaska police, Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, Walker County Sheriff's Office, DEA, Alabama-Coushatta police, Americare EMS and the Pct. 4 Polk County Constable's Office. More than 100 people are working the scene.
"Today we are around 13 or 14 agencies," Lyons said. "Somewhere around 82 officers are here. Logistically, it is managed chaos."
Lyons also called Livingston ISD to get help with keeping law enforcement cool.
"We got some some cool spots set up," Lyons said. "We have some air condition busses, a camper trailer and one of our busses."
Due to the heat, an ambulance was also kept on standby.
"We usually brief them in the morning before they go out to make sure they are hydrated good so when we go out in the field," said Ricky Taylor with Americare Ambulance Service. "If somebody getting sick in the heat, we get them to break and give them water and gatorade. We also have IV Fluids."
A deer hunter discovered the fields Saturday night while getting the lease ready for hunting season. One man, Carbajal Rene Burrisqueta, has been arrested while at least one more person is at-large, according to Game Warden Sam Shanafelt.
Burrisqueta is charged with evading arrest and has an immigration hold.
"At this point in time, I've not got to meet the individual. I've not got to talk with him. We actually haven't even interviewed him. I don't have any information on him at this time," Lyons said.