A National Guard helicopter scouting for marijuana growing operations in Delta County hit the jackpot Thursday, resulting in a felony arrest and the seizure of both guns and drugs.
The operation also involved officers with the Delta County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
A Delta County deputy and two guardsmen from the National Guard were in a helicopter checking the area for possible illegal marijuana growing sites Thursday morning. When the site was discovered off of FM 64 west of Cooper, a man later identified as John Mark Wheeler, 47, of Cooper was seen at the site.
DPS investigators apprehended Wheeler and recovered the marijuana plants, and a search warrant was obtained and executed for a residence, buildings and a vehicle on the premises.
“Several small marijuana plants were discovered in a barn used as a marijuana growing facility,” according to Delta County Sheriff Gerald Teague. “In the residence, several handguns and long-barrel weapons, along with a small amount of marijuana, were found.”
Wheeler was arrested for possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; resisting arrest and search, a Class A misdemeanor; and felon in possession of firearm, a felony.
Bond for the marijuana possession charge was set at $5,000 while bond for resisting arresting arrest was $7,500. Bail was set at $30,000 for possession of a firearm by a felon. Wheeler was released on Friday after posting bond.
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