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2014-01-09

If you're gonna dump evidence of pot production, don't leave a mailing address

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Courtesy photo
Deputies with the Bandera County Sheriff's Office recently busted a hydroponic marijuana operation in the Polly Peak area.



Some criminals apparently never learn. What started as a routine call for illegally dumped trash soon morphed into a sizable marijuana bust, according to Chief Deputy Matt King of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office.
When the buds settled, BCSO deputies had made one arrest and confiscated 49 hydroponic marijuana plants, along with 10 pounds of weed.
It all started out somewhat innocently enough with a call to emergency dispatch at 1:50 pm on Sunday, Jan. 5. A resident of South Goat Ridge in the Polly Peak area reported that an unauthorized person had apparently dumping garbage in the trashcan at the end of his drive.
When Deputy Michael Cornwell arrived to investigate, he discovered items that were commonly used in the indoor production of marijuana along with pieces of mail offering information that led to a possible address. When Cornwell arrived at the address, he noticed that an ordinate amount of surveillance equipment had been installed around the residence.
After obtaining an evidentiary search warrant, Cornwell and Sgt. Gerald "Jerry" Johnson returned to the house where they discovered a setup for the hydroponic production of marijuana. They seized 49 plants and 10 pounds of marijuana and arrested a property caretaker, Frankie Cisneros, 24, of Crystal City. Cisneros was charged with a misdemeanor traffic offense and for possession of between five and 50 pounds of super refined marijuana.
According to King, other arrests are expected as the investigation continues.
The chief deputy also noted that in large municipalities, such as San Antonio, authorities routinely monitor water and electrical usage. "A spike in the use of either can send up a warning flag. The first things the utility companies do are to check for leaks and malfunctions," he explained. "If that comes up negative, then the spike is reported to security and the SAPD and they take it from there."
Asked about the illegal garbage disposal that led to finding a mailing address in the trash that morphed into the pot seizure, King replied, "Well, these are apparently not master criminals we're dealing with. I can't wait to see how Colorado fares with that newly enacted law."