It’s becoming a sadly regular occurrence that Houston-area police are busting huge pot grows. Tuesday, cops in Polk County northeast of Houston say they busted a grow with more than 9,600 plants.
But there have been few arrests made, and try as they might you can still buy pot today in Houston.
Cops say they found two camps on the property near the grows but have not made any arrests. This is the third major pot bust in Polk County in recent months and one of nearly a dozen over the last few months in Texas. Last month police busted a grow of about 6,000 plants near Livingston, Texas and weeks before that a 100,000 plant grow operation was busted.
Law enforcement seems stumped by it. According to the Houston Chronicle, there have been a lot of grow busts but not a lot of arrests. Cops also say they have few leads. At a grow bust we reported a few weeks back, for example, cops found a cell phone with a selfie photo of one of the alleged growers, a Mexican national named Benigno Ramirez. That’s all cops have to go on.
Cops are also under the assumption that most of the growing is being done by Mexican cartels. The grows are often illegally on private land and guarded by armed men – though the most cops in Texas have reported seeing is a pellet gun.
Some say that the recent busts are all for theater and that the cops have been exaggerating the values of the harvests as well as waiting until the crops were in full bloom to make sure the plants are heavy.
“They like to exaggerate the street values to make themselves and their work seem to be making a difference,” Dean Becker, an expert on the war on drugs, tells the Houston Chronicle. Becker says the busts play into the cartels, who use the media exposure to justify high prices on herb. “The black market needs these busts to justify their high prices for a weed that if it were truly legal would sell for $10 to 20 a pound.”