Agents and deputies involved in the widescale operation, led by the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office, seized six guns and 5,904 marijuana plants, and arrested five suspects, according to a Monday news release by Phil Martin Jr., a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
The dragnet for illegal grow operations grew out of a shooting complaint in the spring.
On May 26, a rancher reported to the Otero County Sheriff’s Office that unidentified suspects shot at his 13-year-old son while he was rounding up cattle on leased grazing property in the county, the news release said. The shooting occurred near a suspected illegal marijuana grow operation, it said. While investigating the report, deputies tracked down two suspected illegal marijuana grow houses, the news release said.
Authorities from numerous state and local law enforcement agencies arrested Ronnie Thursby, 40, Deven Thursby, 23, Denis Street, 34, and Christopher Huxtable, 31, in connection to the alleged illegal grow operations.
The four are all being held in the Las Animas County Detention Facility for investigation of drug cultivation and distribution charges, Martin said. Bond has been set at $50,000 for each suspect.
State and local law enforcement officers “eradicated” 40 clandestine marijuana grow sites in Las Animas County this summer by seizing and destroying nearly 6,000 pot plants with a street value of nearly $5.8 million, authorities said.