Tip leads to $1.9m bust of marijuana

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    Tip leads to $1.9m bust of marijuana

    A tip to the Brazoria County Sheriff's Department led to the discovery of a marijuana growing operation in Rosharon. On Wednesday, Oct. 7, following the tip, the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit descended on a large scale marijuana grow located at 2342 County Road 48 North in Rosharon.

    When deputies arrived at the property, they met with property owner Marvin Raymond Shield. He consented to the investigators' request for a search of the property and adjoining property.

    Located on the property in question was a residence, a business and a large quasantstyle barn. Shields led investigators into the barn where they discovered a sophisticated large scale indoor marijuana grow.

    Plants in the grow varied in size from seedlings to mature bud bearing plants. Investigators seized approximately 1,200 plants with a street value of $1.94 million. Also found during the search were large Mason jars containing marijuana, along with large tubs filled with marijuana, hashish and hashish oil. Investigators also searched the room in the residence belonging to Ryan Mason, 23, who is the stepson of Schield.

    In that room, they located a container with approximately a half-pound of marijuana.

    During the search of the property, several shotguns and rifles were also located. These firearms were seized. Also discovered was a sub-zero refrigerator, approximately 35 cultivation lamps, a large porta cool evaporator and approximately $10,000 in United States currency. These other items were directly used to further Shield's marijuana cultivation operation.

    Investigators believe that should the plants have remained undetected and had been allowed to grow to full maturity, they easily could have produced from 1,800 to 2,500 pounds of marijuana, which then would have been distributed to the streets of Brazoria County.

    During the search, the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit was assisted by Canine Officer Tim Neimmeyer of the Pearland Police Department. Both Shield and Mason were arrested Mason was charged with a state jail felony (possession of marijuana). Shield was charged with a Felony II, (possession of marijuana) and a Felony I (possession of a controlled substance). Mason has posted bond and is no longer in jail. Shield has not posted bond and remains in jail as of press time.

    Judy Zavalla, Staff Reporter

    Monday, October 19, 2009 5:17 PM EDT


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