Photo/Story Gallery 2003
Search reveals Indoor Marijuana Operation
The discovery of a sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation and the seizure of over 2,000 marijuana plants began with a routine traffic stop conducted by Troopers John W. Wilcox and Michael Grider in Hendry County. During the traffic stop, the troopers detected the odor of raw marijuana on the driver’s clothing.
After interviewing the suspect, the troopers obtained permission to search the vehicle. After finding evidence to suggest a growing operation, the troopers obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence, which resulted in the discovery of an elaborate marijuana growing operation and the arrest of the suspect, a Cuban American.
The entire ground floor of the two-story house was used to grow the marijuana inside. Outside, watering systems were found covered by metal sheds. The interior of the growing area was covered in centex and outfitted with lamps, fans, and air conditioners – along with over 2,000 mother plants. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was called to the scene to serve as the lead agency in a continued Federal investigation.