LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

KHOU.com staff & Tiffany Craig, Malini Basu / KHOU 11 News

GOODRICH, Texas Dozens of law enforcement officers and Polk County inmates were back at work Tuesday to clear out tens of thousands of marijauna plants from fields in the area.

By late Tuesday morning, they had uprooted more than 70,000 pot plants. The estimated value is $175 million.

A deer hunter first stumbled upon the pot in what could end up being one of the biggest marijuana busts in Texas history.

The hunter was at his deer lease in Goodrich off Old Highway 35 Saturday when he saw the suspicious plants and alerted authorities.

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.

'I was amazed,' admitted Lauretta Patterson. 'I couldn't believe here in Goodrich that something like that would happen.'

At the camp you can see the Styrofoam cups used to nurture small plants and the hoses to water the larger ones.

Polk County deputies teamed up with DPS officers, Livingston police officers and Polk County constables Monday to uproot the marijuana plants from 10 fields.

Polk County inmates helped load the plants on trailers.

A DPS helicopter flew over the area and spotted 16 additional fields that could contain pot. They hope to finish searching them on Tuesday.

'I sure wish I had found it first,' said one area resident.

One suspect is in custody and more arrests are expected.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/2014/09/05/14719338/