Creek County Hunter Stumbles Upon Massive Marijuana-Growing Operation

Wednesday, October 9th 2013, 10:03 pm

A massive marijuana operation was shut down in Creek County, as deputies busted a pot farm Sunday, north of Heyburn Lake, near Browns Creek.

The marijuana was being grown on public land.

Detectives said a deer hunter was out scouting the area, but instead of a trophy buck, he stumbled upon a plantation of pot.

"It appeared to be a higher grade," said Detective Chrissie Underwood.

What was once a pot dealer's profit, is now a smoldering pile of ash.

"The buds that came off of them were huge," Underwood said.

Hidden deep in the woods of Creek County, detectives burned nearly 3,000 marijuana plants, with a street value of $810,000.

Underwood said some of the weed was still in the ground, but most was in the drying stage, probably a week from hitting the streets.

"They had harvested probably everything that they were going to harvest at that point," said Underwood.

Detectives said three growers were staying onsite. They had a makeshift kitchen with pots and pans and food. In the same area, detectives said the growers used tree limbs and rope to hang the marijuana to dry.

"It was a primitive camp area," Underwood said.

To irrigate their crops, the growers installed waterlines that were connected to a hand-dug reservoirs.

"They depended on the creeks and the pumps and pumping it into the reservoirs," said Underwood. "All that has to be destroyed, so they can't use it again."

It is not the first time a pot farm has been discovered on public land in Creek County.

8/9/2013 Related Story: Massive Marijuana Operation Busted Near Mannford

Two years ago, an identical operation was found on the opposite end of Heyburn Lake. It, too, was spotted by a deer hunter.

"We depend very heavily on our wildlife and the hunters that go through," said Underwood.

Then, in August, detectives pulled up and burned about 6,300 marijuana plants near Mannford, after a tip came in.

"We have too much unexplored areas that we're just not able to get to, and unfortunately most sheriff's departments are not large," Underwood said.

Underwood said the three farms were all likely operated by the same drug-runner and possibly connected to the Mexican drug cartel.

"It looks good, but I can't say for sure at this point," said Underwood.

But what she can say for sure is she's glad the pot never made it to the streets.

"People buy it, give it to kids, sell it to kids, I don't want it out there," Underwood said.

Detectives said the growers were likely just caretakers, answering to someone higher up. One of the growers was on site when deputies showed up, but he took off running and investigators said he likely had a four-wheeler hidden in the woods to help with a fast getaway.

Underwood said the growers did not leave behind any identification, so there are no suspects.