Major marijuana operation shut down in Lubbock Thursday morning - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock's biggest drug bust shuts down major marijuana operation

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Kyle Brandon Walker, Source: Lubbock Sheriff's Office Kyle Brandon Walker, Source: Lubbock Sheriff's Office
Shawn Mark McCardell, Source: Lubbock Sheriff's Office Shawn Mark McCardell, Source: Lubbock Sheriff's Office
Justin Michael Rascher - Picture not available Justin Michael Rascher - Picture not available

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office is calling Thursday's drug bust the biggest they've ever seen. With the help of five other agencies, authorities arrested three men and put a stop to an extensive marijuana grow and distribution operation.

During the early-morning joint operation of six agencies, Lubbock residents Kyle Brandon Walker, 34, Shawn Mark McCardell, 27, and Justin Michael Rascher, 21 were arrested.

Authorities searched several homes in Lubbock and one in Crosbyton finding around 900 hydroponic marijuana plants.  "This is by far the biggest that we can find any record of," said Sheriff Kelly Rowe. "This is very high grade marijuana that has a very high potency level, and so its street value is considerably higher."

Along with the large stash of pot, authorities also found more than $750,000 during their search in which they also seized other property. "We have currently searched, or are in the process of seizing five different residencies or buildings, as well as some storage units. We've taken ten guns as well as four vehicles and a boat," said Rowe.

All three men face charges of growing with intent to sell marijuana plants, and possession with intent to distribute at least 100 kilograms of marijuana. Walker also faces two other charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana back in September. In addition he is also charged with maintaining drug involved premises, and if convicted three of his residences listed in the indictment would be seized by the government.

 The three are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig at 9 a.m. on Friday.If convicted, each defendant faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, a $4 million fine and a term of supervised release between five years and life.

Investigators with the Lubbock Police Department, the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were all involved in the drug bust.

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