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Texas Deer Hunters Discover 18K Marijuana Plants

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MADISONVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A group of hunters in Central Texas were hoping to find deer. Instead, they stumbled upon $9 million worth of marijuana.

Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley says a group of hunters were setting up deer blinds when they discovered the plants on Friday. The sheriff’s office eventually confiscated 18,400 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $9 million.

Investigators say they have not arrested anyone, but suspect the pot operation was being funded by Mexican drug cartels.

Authorities say they also found 13 bags of fertilizer, 3,000 feet of irrigation piping and a generator. Neeley says hygiene products, tents and batteries were also found at a nearby campsite. He suspects the land was being used for marijuana planting for the past three years.

In June, Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized about 3,500 marijuana plants, valued at roughly $5.25 million. Roughly 48,000 plants were seized from the same location in March.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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