Recently, a trooper stopped a motorist in Collier County for traveling 90 mph in a 70 mph speed zone. During the traffic stop, Troopers John Wilcox and Mike Gideons (Troop F) developed suspicions that the driver was involved in an extensive marijuana grow operation at his residence. The troopers summoned the assistance of troopers in Hillsborough County who immediately went to Quintana’s home. After receiving consent to search the residence, troopers confiscated over 290 marijuana plants, several large bags of harvested marijuana, and other items used to manufacture the illegal plants.
Also discovered was the fact that Quintana had spliced into the power lines running into his home so that he could steal huge amounts of electricity needed to power the grow operation. The local power company was asked to respond to disconnect and make safe the electrical system of the home.
Several hours later, Quintana, who agreed to voluntarily return to his home and be interviewed, confessed to running the operation, and was arrested for cultivating and possessing marijuana worth an estimated $900,000 and stealing an about $50,000 worth of electricity.
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Thanks to the efforts of the following members from Troop C, another grow house is out of operation in Florida: Captain Linda Perkins, Lt. Michael Mattiza, Lt. Maurice Hensley, Sgt. Steve Gaskins, and Troopers Steve Varnell, Bob Lanese, Justin May, Steve Varnell, Jr., and Frank Troffo, III.