08/24/2007

Texas officers find large pot field, guns and ammo

By Richard Abshire
The Dallas Morning News

COLLIN COUNTY, Texas Texas Department of Public Safety narcotics officers and local police seized 1,095 marijuana plants and 10 pounds of marijuana ready for sale Wednesday morning on a secluded plot west of State Highway 205 and just north of the Rockwall-Collin county line. Officers also recovered assault rifles and ammunition at the Collin County site, which is about half a mile north of the Rockwall city limit and just south of the San Martino Winery and Vinyards.

DPS narcotics officer Philip Allen estimated the street value of the marijuana seized at more than $1 million.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jason Mineo of Rockwall, who was believed to own the land, was taken into custody without incident in Rockwall about noon Wednesday. Charges and bail information weren't immediately available, and Mr. Mineo couldn't be reached for comment. Mr. Allen said the grow area was well-tended and had an irrigation system, with part of the system drawing water from the creek that runs along the boundary between Rockwall and Collin counties.

A Garland police spokesman, Officer Joe Harn, said that his agency had received a tip about the plot and that a Garland officer was part of the crew aboard the DPS helicopter that spotted the "grow." Officer Harn said the investigation would include Garland police, DPS narcotics officers, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.

Dan Easterwood, a DPS narcotics assistant commander, said the investigation is part of the Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Program, a joint venture with the Army National Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement.

Copyright 2007 The Dallas Morning News

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