Trinity Co. authorities arrest 3 in discovery of pot field

Trinity Co. authorities arrest 3 in discovery of pot field
Source: Trinity Police
Source: Trinity Police
Source: Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace
Source: Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Trinity County authorities arrested three men and harvested nearly 10,000 plants after uncovering a marijuana field Wednesday afternoon.

"It is becoming more and more common," said Woody Wallace, the Trinity County Sheriff.

Wallace said his office had been receiving complaints of people "hanging around" a house in the Pennington area that belonged to a Houston woman.

"There was a house that they knew no one lived in," Wallace said. 

He said he knew they were doing more than just squatting and on Wednesday brought other officers, including a game warden, to the house with him.

"When we got there, two ran away but we were able to arrest three men," Wallace said. "We found in the house some headbands with lights on them and camouflage clothing."

Wallace said the game warden walked down a trail behind the house and found cups and potting soil before walking to a marijuana field.

Wallace said they harvested 9,968 plants and some of the field may have been on national forest land, meaning those arrested could face federal charges.

Wallace says the major issue is how the suspects committed the crime.

"They're not paying for the land. They're trespassing on someone else's property to do this," Wallace said.

He says for that reason, the marijuana grow is not victimless.

"The bad part about it is the destruction it did to these people's property. They cut down pine trees," Wallace said.

The land the suspects used belonged to several people who will be affected by the damages.

"When you start cutting down people's pine trees, you're cutting down how they make a living in this county," Wallace said.

The three arrested were Marcial Hernandez-Villegas, 33, Fernando Hernandez-Velliegas, 39, and Donato Lopez-Arellano, 41.

Charges are pending.

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.