Multiple agencies along with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics converged on roughly 6-acres in Jeff Davis County for one of the largest marijuana farm busts in state history.
At final count, late Thursday night, over 15,000 plants had been collected, and the estimated street value is over $10 million, and that amount is expected to increase.
"This is very similar to the cartel grows we see out west," said Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director, John Dowdy. "They had irrigation systems built up in here, there's actually a camp where individuals have been living back on the back side of the grow operation."
There were five fields total, set up in a circular pattern, a few hundred yards in the woods off Otis Polk Road, near Highway 13 in Jeff Davis County.
Agents recovered multiple cell phones, a hunting rifle, generators, water pumps and other equipment during their search, which came from a tip that led to authorities flying over the area.
"It's probably the most significant and sophisticated grow that we have seen in the state of Mississippi, ever," said Dowdy.
The multiple acres were covered with wires leading to generators, multiple camp sites, along with water hoses and pumps leading to a water source.
"Somebody's going to jail," said Dowdy.
During the investigation, authorities issued a BOLO for two Hispanic men, possibly feeling from the scene, but no arrests were made.
Majority of the plants in the fields were six to seven feet tall, and multiple fields had drying stations set up to dry marijuana that was already collected.
“Jeff Davis County has been a problem for narcotics for quite some time,” said Dowdy. “It’s no fault on the sheriff’s office, it’s a rural county so people can kind of fly under the radar often times, there was no way anyone could ever find this.”
“Whoever had this operation going will be out of business for a while,” said Jeff Davis County Sheriff Ron Strickland.”
MBN agents dug up the plants, and burned some of them on the scene, and hauled the rest away, with some of them to be tested at the state lab.
Mississippi Highway Patrol, MBI, Covington and Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Department, Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the 15th Circuit Court District Attorney’s office also assisted in the investigation.
No arrests have been made at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.