Hiding in Plain Sight

Pot bust comes after passing motorists see 8-foot plants from road

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct 18, 2007 - Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit investigators continue their efforts to rid the county of illegal substances, one tree at a time, as was the case Wednesday.

HCSC Photo

Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit Sgt. Tony Crouse stands next to one of two 8-foot-tall marijuana plants discovered at an FM 3019 residence.

The investigators made one felony arrest and seized two marijuana plants estimated to be about 8 feet tall from a residence on FM 3019.

The property is located near the Pine Forest community in Hopkins County Precinct 2, SCU officers said Thursday morning.

SCU Sgts. Tony Crouse and Harold McClure and Lt. Ron Plaxco went to a home near the Pine Forest community in Hopkins County Precinct 2 after receiving information that motorists could see marijuana plants growing in the yard.

The officers arrived at 3072 FM 3019 just after 4 p.m. Wednesday and were able to see two marijuana plants growing in plain view on the side of the property.

A red pickup was parked in front of the trees as if to obscure them from the road. However, the trees had grown taller than the truck and were indeed, as passing motorists had reported, visible from the road, Crouse noted.

Closer inspection definitively identified the stalks as marijuana plants. The SCU officers then went to the front door of the home to talk with with the residents. After several minutes, a woman finally came to the door.

After speaking with her, they arrested 20-year-old Amanda Renee Orozco at about 4:45 p.m. for possession of marijuana being cultivated. The trees were seized, and noted to have enough substance to equal an estimated two to three pounds of usable marijuana, which on the street would generate between $800 and $3,000, SCU officers noted.

The investigation of marijuana cultivation is ongoing, led by Crouse, who indicated the possibility of more arrests depending on the outcome of that investigation.

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