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Texas: Game Wardens, Deputies Bust Huge Marijuana Farm

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

State game wardens and other law enforcement officers have raided a massive illegal marijuana grow operation in a remote area of West Texas.

A statement released by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Friday says about 40,000 marijuana plants worth millions of dollars were seized during the raid on a ranch in eastern Menard County, about 200 miles northwest of Austin.

Game wardens were making an aerial patrol of they county when they spotted the operation. Officials say the site featured irrigation facilities and camps.

Armed guards were encountered protecting the sites, said Col. Craig Hunter, director of the Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division. He said discarded firearms were found as well.

There have been no reports of arrests.

Oregon: $9M Illegal Marijuana Grow Raided Near Willamette River

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A massive marijuana grow in Oregon was raided early Tuesday morning, resulting in one arrest and the seizure of more than 6,500 plants.

The grow operation was found in rural Dayton after a two-month long investigation by the Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team, according to the Yamhiil County Sheriff's Office. Found in the wetlands of the Willamette River, the operation was connected to a Mexican drug trafficking organization.

The team raided the operation before sunrise with the help of the Oregon State Police SWAT. The thousands of plants were valued at more than $9 million.

Official found Manuel Madrigal, 42, hiding in a secret living area with a kitchen under a tarp. Madrigal,a resident of San Antonio, Texas with a history of drug arrests, was detained by deputies. He was arrested on federal charges of drug trafficking and turned over to U.S. Marshal custody in Portland.

Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson said the raid was a good example of the dangers Oregon faces from marijuana, even though it is now legal in certain quantities.

"There is still a profit to be made in marijuana by these illegal organizations," Svenson said. "As long as this continues, we will need to remain diligent in our investigations to keep this money from being routed to other areas of criminal activity."

Texas: Border Patrol Agents Stop Dump Truck Carrying 1,800 Pounds Of Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Border Patrol agents stopped a dump truck carrying more than 1,800 pounds of marijuana near Brownsville, Texas last week.

Border Patrol agents conducting surveillance on Thursday watched a black-and-white dump truck approach a sand pit near the Mesquite Farms Ranch.

Agents ran the dump truck's license plate through a law enforcement database, which revealed "the dump truck had been previously identified as a narcotics load vehicle," according to the criminal complaint.

According to the criminal complaint:

USBP agents observed the white and black dump truck break away from the normal route of travel for dump trucks and disappear into an unused sand pit. USBP agents advised via service portable radio the bundles that had been observed on the dirt mound were no longer at their original location. USBP agents observed the white and black dump truck exit the area and did not attempt to pick up a load of sand near the sandpit area.

Agents stopped the dump truck and arrested the driver, Dario Galvan-Ibarra. They recovered 26 bundles of marijuana from the dump truck, weighing a total of 1,873.3 pounds.

Agents turned Galvan-Ibarra over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for prosecution.

U.S.: Pro Motorcycle Racer Gets Marijuana Company Sponsorship


Professional motorcycle racer Johnny Rock Page and marijuana industry media company Hemp American Media Group have together made history via a sponsorship deal that makes for the first time a professional racer has ever been sponsored by a marijuana company. The sponsorship is for Page’s 2016 MotoAmerica Superbike season.

"This deal conveys the public’s improving perception and acceptance of marijuana," said Colby Ayres, co-founder and marketing director of Hemp American Media Group. "We are ecstatic that Johnny Rock Page and MotoAmerica are progressive in their views towards marijuana," Ayres said.

"Although I no longer use marijuana, I truly believe that it can help cancer patients and those who need it for other medicinal purposes," Page said.

MotoAmerica's Superbike racing series is the IndyCar of motorcycle racing. Each motorcycle is completely custom, creating the fastest motorcycle racing in the world.

The MotoAmerica Superbike season begins in April in Austin, Texas, at the Circuit of The Americas race track where Page will seek a win in the season opener. The season’s nine races throughout the continental U.S. will be televised on the beIN SPORTS TV Network.

Texas: Dallas Rejects Marijuana Cite-and-Release Plan

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Dallas City Council rejected a plan to ticket people instead of arresting them for minor drug offenses Wednesday morning.

Several council members and the Dallas police chief were supporters of the idea. The proposal would have required Dallas police officers to issue tickets to Dallas residents discovered with four ounces of marijuana or less, instead of arresting them.

Phillip Kingston, a council member and out-spoken supporter of the proposal, said allowing those found with pot to stay out of jail as long as they showed up later for court was the least the city could do.

"I'm as transparent about this as I can be. My hope is that this will finally convince DPD to ignore marijuana. That is my goal, that they will ignore marijuana. I know that I don't have the power to legalize the stuff, but I do have the power to correctly allocate criminal justice resources that are under my control so that they aren't spent on pot," he told the Dallas Observer in December.

The biggest objection to cite-and-release was raised Wednesday by Sandy Greyson, a council member who represents parts of Far North Dallas that are in Denton and Collin County. Those residents would not have been eligible for cite-and-release because they reside in a different sheriff's jurisdiction.

After Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the council that Collin and Denton counties would not be joining the proposed program, Greyson said Wednesday the unequal application of the law was unfair.

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