NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department hit two houses, one outside of Douglass on County Road 847 and the other near Lilbert on Farm to Market Road 343. Both are just west of Nacogdoches.
So far, deputies have charged Charles Thomas Smith, Timothy Gillispie, 63, and Daniel Poirier, 54, all of Nacogdoches County with engaging in organized criminal activity.
The alleged growers of marijuana were into hydroponics. Only one lush marijuana plant was found. Deputies suspect a harvest just occurred. They're not disappointed. They've busted up a hydroponics growing lab.
The trickle of water could be heard coming from a deep green marijuana plant. The leaves were healthy looking. No blemishes. If it weren't illegal, the plant would have made a beautiful ornamental display in a home or yard. It's quite obvious with the absence of sunlight and even soil you can grow a very healthy mother plant capable of cloning hundreds more.
"You can also see they had a carbon dioxide generator there to help produce additional carbon dioxide to make the plants grow faster," pointed out Sheriff Thomas Kerss, Nacogdoches County.
Plants grown this way shoot up rapidly and produce plants free of stems and seeds. The dried leaves produce a high dollar drug.
"Street value would be around $6,000 an ounce," explained Kerss, who also invited in the DEA and Texas Rangers into the investigation.
Gillispie and Poirier sat in their nice country home under the watchful eye of deputies as other investigators catalogue each and every hydroponics supply including drying racks, dehumidifiers and basic supplies. Kerss points to the different chemicals.
"This is obviously where they're mixing the nutrients to go into the water they're supplying those plants with."
Investigators left one high dollar operation outside Douglass for another run in squalor near Lilbert, about five miles away. A less than perfect mother plant produces seedlings grown in a bathroom cabinet. Scales and dried marijuana are found in trashed out rooms.
Two different environments, but with a common denominator of shared plant growth for illegal profits.