LIVINGSTON, Texas – After two days of working in the searing heat, law enforcement officers and inmates have removed more than 100,000 pot plants from 29 fields in Polk County.
d street value of the marijuana is $175 million. It's believed to be one of the biggest busts in Texas history.
They also found some cell phones in the fields that they're hoping will lead to the ringleader of the massive operation.
A deer hunter first stumbled upon the pot near his deer lease in Goodrich off Old Highway 35 Saturday.
Deputies describe it as a sophisticated operation that used water from a creek to hydrate the marijuana. There was also a campground on the site.
"These guys are building trenches, pumps, set up irrigation systems," said Polk County Chief Deputy Byron Lyons."They've got their own little camps, tents, tent cities. It's a pretty elaborate set up."
Chief Lyons says they're getting to the property by taking the Trinity River and then the Long King Creek. Once they're here, they don't leave.
Someone else sneaks on the property weekly and brings the workers food. As you can imagine, the secret world in the woods is surprising to those who live in Goodrich.
"It was shocking, we didn't know that that kind of operation was going on," said Jack Abdallah, the owner of Lonestar Charlie's Family Restaurant.
Christy Lamb works nearby.
"It's amazing, that it was that large of an operation and we didn't even know it was there," said Christy Lamb, who works nearby.
and not the innocent workers. I bet the planters, the growers over there, have been here and ate here, I bet."
One suspect is in custody and more arrests are expected. Officers believe there are up to six people who were camping out in the fields.