NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A metal storage building on the back lot of the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department is cleared of miscellaneous supplies to make room for thousands of marijuana plants worth millions of dollars.
"That's pretty dry. We can start packaging that part," Sheriff Thomas Kerss pointed out to an office assistants interested in the procedure.
Most of the weed was still pretty green. It becomes a mushy mess if it's not dried properly before packing, similar to lettuce kept in the fridge for too long.
"We'll actually have to pick the leaves and the buds off of the stems," explained Kerss. That's the only way the Department of Public Safety crime lab will accept marijuana. The regional crime lab in Tyler is asking that it be delivered straight to Austin because there's so much.
The road and bridge department weighed the dump truck used to haul all the plants and then weighed the truck empty. The estimated weight is 1,360 pounds, valued at $6,000 per pound.
"We'll probably box the dried leaves, 20 pounds to a box.," Kerss described. "They'll take core samples from each package or container that we submit and they'll analyze that for analysis, strength and weight."
Nacogdoches County authorities anticipate being on the road with the cash crop in less than a week. The lab will be busy with other hauls in other parts of the state. On Monday, about 5,000 plants were found in Corsicana. After all the tests are conducted, Kerss runs into another issue.
"The evidence is then returned into my custody," Kerss said.
Routinely the evidence is kept under lock and key until the trial. This time Kerss will be asking prosecutors to use core samples and photographs to avoid a long term storage and security issue.
For now, help from the local locksmith is enough.
"We've got motion sensors," the installer said. "We're going to have a strobe and sirens."
When the time comes to get rid of all the pot it will be taken to a federally approved incinerator where it will go up in smoke.