Articles Posted in Drug Cultivation

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Investigators claim they discovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in marijuana from seven grow houses in Pasco County after they stopped by to check out claims of electric theft.

According to reports, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said they were alerted to the seven houses by officials with Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative after the company learned that more than $206,000 worth of power had been stolen over the course of the past two weeks.

When investigators got to each home, they allegedly found elaborate marijuana grow operations. The sheriff’s office believes the grow houses are the work of of an organized crime ring because the wiring installed to steal the electricity at each home appears to be the same.

4151958797_286773e01e_mAs of now, only one arrest has been made. A 50-year-old Port Richey man has been charged with trafficking and cultivating marijuana and theft of utilities. Police anticipate more arrests as the investigation continues to unfold.

While the manufacturing of marijuana may not take place in a laboratory the same way many drugs like methamphetamines are produced, the cultivation of marijuana is a very serious offense in the state of Florida. Due to its Schedule I classification as an illegal substance, arrests stemming from marijuana-related offenses will generally result in felony charges.

If you have been charged with or have been arrested for or accused of growing marijuana, you are probably feeling extremely scared and under intense pressure. Consulting with a Pasco County Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton could help alleviate some of your stress, and at the same time provide you with a plan of action to make it through the legal process without suffering life-altering consequences.

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The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested nine people and seized almost 100 pounds of marijuana in a large-scale marijuana operation, according to reports.

Two different marijuana grow houses were broken up, including one operated by a 40-year-old Lake Wales man.

The man is allegedly responsible for six grow houses in the Lake Wales and Frostproof areas. The operation took in millions of dollars a year, officials said.

marijuana grow houseOn Tuesday, the sheriff’s office revealed some evidence they had collected, including a gun, bulletproof vest and a large bag of marijuana. The operation resulted in the seizure of 96 pounds of marijuana and 70 marijuana plants, marijuana cultivation equipment, cash and vehicles.

Officials believe that most of the pot grown in the operation was shipped to the Northeast.

Polk deputies also busted a grow house in Poinciana on Monday, but officials have not yet reported whether the two busts are connected.

In Florida, manufacturing marijuana or cannabis is classified as a felony. Additionally, under the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act, it is illegal to own or rent a home for the sole purpose of growing marijuana or housing marijuana plants. Depending on the size of the grow house operation and whether or not children are living in the home, convictions for this offense can range anywhere from 5 to 30 years in prison.

A Polk County Drug Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you if you have been accused of or charged with operating a grow house. We work tirelessly to defend those accused of running or participating in marijuana grow house operations.

We are more than familiar with the tactics police use to bust alleged grow house operations. That is why we never base a defense off of a police report. Instead, we perform our own investigation in order to gather the most accurate facts. If it is found that law enforcement used unlawful means to identify a marijuana operation, did not have probable cause for a search warrant or illegally questioned you, we will aggressively seek to have any evidence suppressed and push for the charges to be reduced or dismissed.

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Marion County sheriff’s deputies allegedly removed 212 grams of methamphetamine Thursday from a house in the 100 block of Southwest 87th Place south of Ocala.

The discovery was apparently made when the caretaker of the home arrived to drop off some mail, according to a MCSO report. The owner of the house does not live at the home.

Deputies claim that when the owner opened the back door of the property, he saw someone run into the front bedroom. The man told police that he confronted the person, who apparently told him that someone else was in the camper in the backyard.

Illegales_Methlab_(USA)The property owner allegedly witnessed a man in the camper cooking meth. The caretaker called 911, and the man in the camper fled.

The Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team arrived at the scene and reported finding 212 grams of meth in paint cans.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.

Also known as “crystal meth,” “crank,” “ice” or “chalk,” methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that is not only extremely dangerous, but one which has grown increasing popular in Florida and throughout the United States. Florida law enforcement and prosecutors combined have recently cracked down on those who produce meth or maintain a meth lab because of the potential danger of the drug and the side effects, which can be fatal.

Characteristically, the term manufacturing brings to mind visions of large scale factory-type operations that generate massive quantities of illegal drugs. However, meth labs are actually extremely portable, so much in fact, that most labs can fit inside the trunk of a car. Trailers, campers and even motel rooms have become popular locations for meth lab operations.

Whether you are a first-time offender or a repeat offender, manufacturing, trafficking or distributing methamphetamines can lead to lengthy prison sentences. Pleading guilty to manufacturing charges or simply relying on a public defender is never a good idea when decades of your freedom are on the line and the stakes are this high. A Drug Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can relentlessly challenge every angle of the prosecution’s case against you. We can challenge the arrest, the search, the seizure and any warrants and statements.

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Polk County detectives allegedly discovered 15 pounds of bagged marijuana in a grow house operation inside a barn in Frostproof last month.

Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office claim they received a tip about starved animals on the property. They apparently went to check out the site and found 37 pot plants growing inside a barn. They also found high intensity grow lights and grow light hoods, electric ballasts, air conditioners, air filters, plastic pots used for cannabis cultivation and cannabis stalks and roots.

They also located five horses on the property and determined that the animals were not malnourished or abused, however, did need improved care. The animals were turned over to a family member.

grow house 3Detectives decided to check out the mobile home on the property where they apparently uncovered a 30-30 rifle and two 357 magnum handguns.

Detectives arrested a 49-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman.

The pair has also been accused of stealing electricity to run the barn.

Both were arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail.

Charges in illegal marijuana cultivation cases are based on the number of plants captured by law enforcement officers. Most grow houses contain large quantities of marijuana plants and processed marijuana, so you could be facing serious felony charges that carry substantial prison time. Additionally, police tend to seek asset forfeitures when it comes to drug crime cases, so you could also be looking at frozen bank accounts, the loss of cash and even your home.

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Cape Coral police took down a marijuana grow house in a NE Cape Coral neighborhood on Wednesday, allegedly seizing more than 57 pounds of raw marijuana and $13,000 in cash.

Police responded to the residence after LCEC personnel discovered that electrical power was being illegally diverted to the residence.

As officers stepped onto the premises, they claim they could smell the odor of raw marijuana coming from the front of the house.

grow house 2

A total of 57.3 pounds of cannabis was seized along with $13,000 in US currency from a Cape Coral grow house.

Detectives executed a search warrant and notified the resident inside the home.

Detectives allegedly uncovered a fully operational grow house inside the home.

A total of 57.3 pounds of cannabis was seized along with $13,000 in US currency, according to reports.

The investigation revealed that a woman rented the home for the explicit purpose of cultivating cannabis and was paid by a 3rd party to maintain the crop, according to police.

The woman was arrested on multiple charges and transported to the Lee County Jail.

Even though marijuana has been legalized in many states, the state of Florida still criminalizes the possession of this popular recreational drug. The state of Florida has some of the toughest marijuana laws in the country, and anyone convicted of a marijuana-related offense can face jail or prison time, extensive fines and other consequences such as a driver’s license suspension. Florida’s marijuana laws are harsh, which is why you cannot take these charges lightly. You need the help of a criminal defense lawyer to fight aggressively for a positive outcome.

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A father and son were arrested last week after the Florida Wildlife Commission discovered several marijuana plants at a residence while investigating a hunting complaint.

Florida Wildlife Commission personnel discovered the plants around 8:30 p.m. and contacted the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office.

The officers surveyed the plants and the property before the father and son arrived at the residence, according to a Bradford County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Agents from the Bradford County Drug Unit were called to the scene and were given consent to search the residence and surrounding property.

marijuana plant.jpegAccording to the reports, a total of 149 marijuana plants were found. Police claim the plants varied in size with the tallest reaching heights of around 5 feet.

A large amount of seeds and processed marijuana for smoking were allegedly found at the residence.

The father and son apparently confessed to growing and possessing the drugs. They allegedly told investigators the marijuana was for their personal use.

The 52-year-old father and 20-year-old son posted bond and were released from the Bradford County Jail.

The father is facing charges of marijuana production, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The son is charged with marijuana production and marijuana possession.

The state of Florida views drug related offenses quite seriously. While the public opinion
regarding marijuana production and its use has been changing across the United States in recent years, the fact remains that marijuana is still illegal in Florida. Prosecutors in Bradford County and across Florida do not take marijuana charges lightly and you can be sure they will be aggressive in their pursuit of a conviction. Growing, manufacturing or cultivating marijuana is a very serious offense on the state and federal level. These charges can be further complicated when other drug charges are involved.

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A 51-year-old man was arrested Friday after local drug agents allegedly found marijuana and a shotgun at a property apparently owned by the man.

A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy allegedly went to an Ocala, Florida home to serve an arrest warrant on Feb. 7 for a 51-year-old woman. The deputy allegedly noticed several plants that appeared to be marijuana in the back yard while peering through a window at the residence, including several small plants on the kitchen table.

Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement Team agents were called to the residence. Agents claim they smelled and detected marijuana at the scene, and when they could not find anyone at the residence they left to obtain a search warrant for the property.

After receiving the search warrant, agents allegedly found 69 marijuana plants growing inside the home, three marijuana plants in the back yard and a 12-gauge double barrel shotgun inside the master bedroom.

On Friday, agents claim they found the man not far from where the marijuana plants were discovered and arrested him.

In an interview with the agents, the man allegedly told them the marijuana and the shotgun was his.

Records indicate the man is a convicted felon and should not be in possession of any firearms.

The man allegedly told investigators that he had a second residence that contained marijuana.

With the man’s alleged consent, detectives went with the man to two buildings. Detectives allegedly uncovered two marijuana plants in the yard of one property, and five in the second yard.

Agents claim the seven plants were around 3 feet tall.

In the yard of one of the buildings, agents allegedly viewed 36 plants with heights between five to 10 inches tall.

According to officials, the man apparently told agents he was selling the products from the plants he had been growing.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of cultivating marijuana and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Under Florida statutes, drug cultivation refers to growing a plant deemed an illegal substance. In general, most cultivation charges stem from being in possession of cannabis plants, also known as marijuana. The amount of drugs a person is found growing plays a fundamental role in whether felony or misdemeanor charges apply. Another key factor relies heavily on intent. There are two crimes that can be charged for drug cultivation in Florida, including:

Cultivation with Intent to Distribute: This crime is a felony offense that carries a minimum sentence of 1 year in state prison. Additional penalties such as fines, probation, registration as a narcotics offender, counseling programs and drug rehabilitation can be tacked on.

Cultivation with the Intent for Personal Use: While the lesser of the two crimes, this offense is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in county jail. This crime is a lighter offense because the cultivation was done for personal advantage, not for the purposes of selling or distributing drugs to others.

With a drug cultivation conviction carrying such hefty consequences, it is extremely important to develop a powerful defense strategy in an effort to reduce or drop criminal charges. Attempting this matter alone is never a good idea, as you could be subject to maximum penalties associated with a drug cultivation charge. A Florida Drug Crimes Attorney can assist you with establishing an appropriate defense for the charges you face. Often, this can be the difference between serving the maximum penalties and receiving a reduced sentence.

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