Texas law enforcement kicks off marijuana eradication program

As the Texas marijuana-growing season begins, DPS Narcotics investigators, local law enforcement agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Texas Army National Guard and multi-jurisdictional task forces are beginning their 2002 domestic marijuana eradication efforts.

The Domestic Marijuana Eradication (DME) program, which has operated in Texas since 1987, targets both cultivated and wild plants.

DPS Narcotics officers work with the Texas Army National Guard, the DEA Air Wing and DPS Aircraft, which support the ground efforts by providing aerial reconnaissance. Although local law enforcement agencies often provide information about possible marijuana grows, some plots are located by helicopter.

Other times, investigators receive information about indoor and outdoor growers from members of the public. Those with information about marijuana cultivation or smuggling are encouraged to contact DPS Narcotics investigators by calling 1-800-525-5555.

“We need the assistance of those who are aware of illegal drug activities,” said Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr., director of the DPS. “Many burglaries and other crimes are directly related to drugs and drug use. Getting reliable information about marijuana cultivation aids our officers in making Texas a safer place.”

Calls to the hotline number can be made anonymously.

In 2001, more than 760,000 marijuana plants were eradicated in Texas during the DME program. Of those, marijuana traffickers cultivated 48,700. DPS investigations into marijuana cultivation (indoor and outdoor) resulted in the arrests of 160 people and the seizure of 77 firearms.