Earlier this week, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith of eastern Texas held a press conference to reveal that a drug trafficking operation with Mexican drug cartel connections has been exposed.
In the investigation, three suspects have been arrested and detained by authorities. Ten other suspects are believed to be at large, having ties to the Los Zetas Mexican cartel, including their leader Eduardo Ramirez Pineda.
Pineda, as well as another top fugitive named Benito Duarte Ramirez, were in charge of at least fifteen marijuana cultivation sites throughout eastern Texas. In total, nine counties are involved in the mass investigation of the fifteen sites.
“It’s not just marijuana … they’re associated with stolen firearms, they are associated with methamphetamine distribution and things of that nature,” Smith told reporting media. “It’s going to stop here in East Texas.”
The investigation has been ongoing since July 2015, where at least 77,000 marijuana plants have been recovered from the various sites. Most of the sites were located in wooded areas, on which Smith commented, saying that “they will stay out there in a tent and just have their food and stuff brought to them.”
“These cartels, or these people that generate these fields, will stay where you let them stay … [law enforcement have] gone out there and been very proactive in saying they are not going to allow it in their community,” Smith reaffirmed at the press conference.
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