LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) - Five arrests were made Tuesday after Fayette County Sheriff's Office investigators found several marijuana plants being grown at a home near La Grange, about 63 miles east of Austin.
Three deputies responded to a call at 5326 E. Old State Highway 71 regarding a welfare concern, the office said in a news release Wednesday. After talking to the homeowner, sheriffs said they smelled marijuana from inside.
Narcotics Unit investigators searched the house. Authorities said they found several marijuana plants -- the largest about four feet tall -- being grown inside and out of the home.
Ralph Crawford, 65; Frances Ivey, 58; Joshua Ivey, 21; Steven Ivey, 46; and Julia Koudelka, 22, were arrested and booked on a charge of possession of marijuana.
Sheriff's Office Lt. David Beyer said marijuana is a recurring problem in Fayette County and his agency is doing its best to combat it.
"We feel like we're impacting it to a certain extent," Beyer told KXAN. "But as long as it's an easy business and very profitable, it's going to be difficult."
Also on Tuesday, sheriffs found 120 pounds of marijuana inside a man's car during a traffic stop. As of Thursday no reports have been made suggesting the two instances were related.
But the busts don't stop there. In February, police found 112 pounds inside the fuel tank of a Ford pickup at a rest stop off Interstate 10.
The sheriff's office discovered 1,600 pounds of marijuana in December inside a pickup, also during a traffic stop. Authorities said it was one of the largest seizures of marijuana in county history. The value of the haul was placed at $800,000.
In October 2011, approximately 500 marijuana plants were discovered inside three mobile homes on the north side of the county. Sheriffs said they also found a sophisticated hydroponic growing system complete with carbon dioxide pumps, fertilizer, an automatic irrigation system and "high-dollar" lamps.
So why all of this in Fayette County? Location, Beyer said.
"The majority of these loads are being knocked out catching people driving through the county headed to Houston," Beyer said. "It's one small county and we're just trying to protect it."
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