By PAUL STONE
Law enforcement authorities were searching for a marijuana grow by helicopter Wednesday in the area of Rocky Point near the Neches River after a property owner discovered remnants of a "camp" where multiple persons had apparently been staying.
Troy Black, chief deputy for the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, said Wednesday that his agency was initially contacted Monday afternoon after the property owner discovered the camp — complete with tents — and "some suspicious activity."
Anderson County sheriff's deputy Lloyd Giles took the initial report Monday, and multiple representatives of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office returned Tuesday to process the scene.
"It (the area) was only accessible by four-wheeler," Black said. "They found evidence of a very large marijuana grow and evidence of a camp where they had been there for quite some time."
On Wednesday, a helicopter from the Texas Department of Public Safety was flying over the area in an effort to determine the location of the marijuana grow.
Black said that "in excess of a pound of marijuana which was still usable was laying on the ground.
"They were packaging such a large quantity that when it fell on the ground," Black said, "they didn't even bother to pick it up. It was a very large grow."
The chief deputy said he believed the individuals had finished their production and departed the area, possibly within the last week, adding there was food at the scene which was still consumable.
There were also beds, a kitchen, a generator and packaging materials at the location, the chief deputy stated. A .22-caliber rifle and pellet rifle were also found, he added.
"There were numerous people out there," Black said. "We don't know the exact number."
On Wednesday afternoon, authorities were still working to attempt to identify the involved individuals.
Black said these types of groups target such areas of remote land, including hunting leases and similar types of property.
"Do not confront these individuals," Black said. "If you find this type of activity, contact the sheriff's office and let us do our job. We don't want any innocent citizens of Anderson County getting hurt or injured."
Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org