Angelina County authorities warn deer hunters against pot farms

Published: Oct. 31, 2011 at 10:06 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2011 at 10:08 PM CDT
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Captain James Galloway works at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.
Captain James Galloway works at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - More than a week ago officials discovered nearly three tons of marijuana in Liberty County.

The piles of harvested pot found on the 300-acre raid is not a problem found only in Liberty County.

"It's not unlikely," Angelina County Sheriff's Office Capt. James Galloway said. "We have had hunters call us and tell us that they have found patches. We haven't had any this year, but it's not uncommon."

Galloway worked 10 years in narcotics and worked with DPS narcotics on marijuana eradication.

He said hunters should keep an eye out, they may spot more than just deer this hunting season.

Galloway said people usually don't grow marijuana on their own land, they'll start an illegal grow on national forest land or on a hunting lease.

"If they [hunters] happen to realize that they've stumbled into a substantial marijuana grow, and that could be anything from 10 plants to 1,000 plants," Galloway said. "If they realize they're in amongst that, ease their way out of that. Be very careful. Look around, watch where they're walking. They may have gotten in safely, try and follow the same trail that they went in on out, because marijuana growers have been known to boobytrap their fields to keep mostly police officers and other dopers out of their fields."

He said hunters should keep a cell phone on them in case they get caught in a dangerous situation.

"These people, if they're actively growing, they're going to be coming out and watering," Galloway said. "They get violent sometimes when people start disturbing their grows. Although I know the hunters are armed, it is also likely that the dopers might be also."

So, if antlers aren't the only thing you see on the deer lease, call your local law enforcement agency to come check it out.

If growers are caught, Galloway said charges can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a felony charge depending on the amount of pot.

Regardless, authorities said violators are facing jail time.

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