Texas Hunters’ “Big Game”: $9 Million of Marijuana
A group of hunters got more than they bargained for in July. Instead of tracking down deer, they found themselves in the middle of $9 million of marijuana plants. They were laying out deer blinds when they realized what they’d found. Shortly after reporting it to local police, over 18,000 plants were confiscated by the sheriff’s office. There have yet to be any arrests, but investigators report that Mexican drug cartels are likely behind the operation. This is the second big marijuana bust of the summer, right on the heels of the June seizure of 3,500 marijuana plants estimated to be worth $5.25 million. However, the June bust was a second offender—the same property was caught with 48,000 plants in the spring, so it seems the growers were attempting to replenish their product.
The Many Faces of Customers With all of these massive Texas finds, it’s no surprise that marijuana possession charges are heavily seasoning the local news. Josh Brent of the Dallas Cowboys was booked in the Dallas County Jail in June for testing positive for marijuana. He’d been required in May to pass a drug test in order to fulfill a $100,000 bond. Brent shot to infamy in December for drinking and driving—which resulted in the death of his teammate. The addition of failing the drug test is just another turn in his downward spiral. Brent isn’t the only one getting in trouble in Dallas because of marijuana. Two parents, Almarier Louise and Michael Thomas Ryan, were both arrested in July for DWI—but in separate vehicles. Louise was discovered passed out in the early morning hours with one of her young children. After resisting and assaulting officers, two bags of marijuana were found in the vehicle. Her partner, Ryan, was arrested in a separate incident for crashing into four parked cars with an infant in his back seat. This isn’t the first time he’s been charged with DWI.
Is Texas “Norml?” The penalties for marijuana possession, DWIs involving marijuana and illegal growing, selling or trafficking of marijuana can vary drastically depending on the amount. Just for possessing drug paraphernalia, like a pipe, you can get slapped with up to a $500 fine. Having under two ounces on you can lead to a up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. If you get into the four ounce to five pound range, State Jail comes into the picture. Know the real price of that green purchase, because you might be charged even if the marijuana isn’t yours. Is Texas normal? It’s rated by NORML as the second “worst place to get busted for pot,” trailing a little behind Oklahoma. However, it leads the pack in terms of annual arrests and criminal prosecutions. If you get caught with marijuana, paraphernalia, hash or concentrates in the Lone Star State, solid legal representation is a must. Of the many thousands of people arrested per year, around 75,000, 97 percent of them were charged with possession only. “Texas Justice” is taken seriously—and it’s not just a TV show.