In this file:
· Shooting at Rancher's Son Leads to Extensive Marijuana Bust
… investigation started after a Colorado rancher told the Otero County Sheriff's Office that his thirteen-year-old son was shot at while rounding up cattle grazing on property that his family was leasing…
· Nearly $5.8 million in marijuana destroyed after authorities raid 40 illegal grows in southern Colorado
… officers “eradicated” 40 clandestine marijuana grow sites in Las Animas County this summer by seizing and destroying nearly 6,000 pot plants…
Shooting at Rancher's Son Leads to Extensive Marijuana Bust
Thomas Mitchell, Denver Westword (CO)
September 17, 2019
A sheriff's department in southern Colorado is putting illegal marijuana growers on notice. In an announcement issued September 16, the Las Animas County Sheriff's Office says that it had found and eradicated over forty illicit pot cultivations over the past several months, and warns that even more raids will follow.
According to LACSO, local sheriff's deputies and members of several other law enforcement agencies collaboratively investigated and eradicated over forty growing sites in Las Animas County alone in the spring and summer; the street value of the destroyed marijuana is estimated at around $5.76 million.
The initial investigation started after a Colorado rancher told the Otero County Sheriff's Office that his thirteen-year-old son was shot at while rounding up cattle grazing on property that his family was leasing. According to the LACSO announcement, the rancher believed his son had come across an illegal marijuana grow, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's Black Market Marijuana Team began investigating the area shortly after.
"Two sites were located that investigators believed were used to cultivate illegal marijuana in the eastern part of Las Animas County, in the Las Animas Ranch’s Subdivision," the report reads, adding that 486 marijuana plants and six firearms were seized. Four suspects were arrested in connection with the two grows: Ronnie Thursby, Deven Thursby, Denis Street and Christopher Huxtable.
That operation is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the LACSO, which says that 5,000 to 15,000 additional plants worth an estimated $5 million were found at more grow sites in the area. However, the LACSO report also notes that officials halted the raids after discovering that a toxic pesticide, Carbofuron, had been sprayed on the plants. "Officials are currently working with environmental specialists to safely remove and eradicate these grow sites and remaining chemicals," the report reads.
Law enforcement officials also located...
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Nearly $5.8 million in marijuana destroyed after authorities raid 40 illegal grows in southern Colorado
Five suspects arrested as part of multi-county operation
By Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post
September 16, 2019
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.
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.
Investigators subsequently broadened their investigation of suspected grow houses in Las Animas County, according to the news release.
Deputies from Las Animas, Pueblo, Bent, Baca, Huerfano counties, along with agents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and officers from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, participated in the raids of dozens of...