Agents bust pot growing operation in business park

October 20, 2011 4:12:16 PM PDT
Neighbors suspected something was going on and on Thursday federal agents came charging in, uncovering a sophisticated marijuana growing operation.

Drug enforcement agents and sheriff's deputies raided the business on Tanner near Windfern Thursday morning. A DEA spokesperson says agents raided at least three pot grow houses around the Houston area. Just how far reaching this operation is, we don't yet know.

When agents broke the glass on the front door, eyewitnesses working nearby realized something significant was happening.

"Man, I was like what the heck is going on," witness Eddie Rodriguez wondered. "I was gonna run!"

Eyewitnesses report as many as 50 law enforcement officers at the scene -- DEA, Harris County and Fort Bend County Sheriff's Offices and others. As investigators seized evidence, Rodriguez got a chance to look inside the garage. He said he saw inside what looked to be a huge greenhouse.

"They had lights, lamps, ballasts, filters -- all kinds of crazy stuff like that," Rodriguez said.

DEA agents describe this as a sophisticated grow house. They found a number of marijuana plants, but they won't say how many. Those working nearby say lately they noticed a peculiar smell here.

"We got real suspicious," said witness Jerry Powell. "One of my employees that worked over there in that building said, 'Jerry, I kind of smell marijuana around here.'"

Authorities seized a large amount of equipment. Property owner Wayne Robinson says he leased the space in this northwest Harris County business park about a year ago to folks who claimed they were going to run a machine shop.

He said, "That's what they claimed was it was a machine shop."

Robinson says he had no clue what was actually being made here. He says he rarely saw the folks who were leasing the place. Neither did those who worked in the very same business park.

"They were good neighbors," Powell said. "They didn't bother anybody. We don't need this kind of stuff around."

Feds say at least one person was arrested. The DEA tells us it will reveal more about the case when charges are filed, as soon as tomorrow.

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