Recently, Trooper Gonzalez (Troop K) conducted a traffic stop on the driver of a black Dodge dually pick-up truck towing an enclosed trailer. The driver was stopped for failing to pay a toll on the Florida Turnpike in Palm Beach County. As Trooper Gonzalez approached the vehicle, he smelled the distinct strong odor of marijuana coming from the trailer that was secured with two large padlocks. When asked about the contents of the trailer, the driver stated that it was loaded with work tools.
Trooper Gonzalez called for back-up from a member of FHP’s Contraband Interdiction Team who uses specially trained K-9s to detect narcotics. After the presence of drugs was confirmed, a subsequent search revealed a loaded 9MM handgun, two loaded high capacity magazines, and a Remington 870 pump-action shotgun, also loaded. The trailer was full of hydroponic marijuana cultivation equipment with marijuana residue evident. The driver was immediately arrested.
As part of the follow up investigation, Sergeant Kelly, Trooper Gonzalez, and members of the Palm Beach County Federal Drug Enforcement Administration Task force made contact with another subject at a private residence in Loxahatchee, Florida. At the residence officers detected an overwhelming odor of raw marijuana. A search of the residence resulted in the discovery of an elaborate hydroponic marijuana grow house. In all, 69 marijuana plants and over seven pounds of marijuana were removed from the residence. A second suspect was also arrested.